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Stephen Piscotty had the worst trip around the bases ever

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Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty inked a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension on Monday. One might be inclined to describe the 26-year-old as “lucky,” considering that as long as he’s not frivolous with his earnings, he’s set up financially for life. That isn’t so.

On Tuesday night against the Cubs, Piscotty endured the worst trip around the base paths probably ever. It started with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Piscotty was hit on the right elbow by a Jake Arrieta pitch. He then stole second base, but was hit again — this time on the left elbow — by the throw to second from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. With Piscotty on second, Kolten Wong chopped a 1-2 curve to the right of the pitcher’s mound, just past Arrieta. Second baseman Javier Baez charged at the ball, but couldn’t make the barehanded grab. Piscotty raced towards the plate, so Baez fired home, but hit Piscotty in the ear flap of his helmet. Piscotty was safe — giving the Cardinals their first run of the game — but he laid face-down on the dirt in pain.

Piscotty was tended to by team trainers. He sat up and received a round of applause from the home crowd, as well as from the Cubs’ players. He was helped off the field and will assuredly undergo concussion protocol. Matt Adams pinch-hit for starter Adam Wainwright, then stayed in the game to play left field, with Randal Grichuk moving from left to right and Matt Bowman replacing Wainwright.

More should be known about Piscotty’s status after the game or on Wednesday. (Update, via Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Piscotty has a head contusion and will be reevaluated on Wednesday morning, the Cardinals say.)

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.