Cardinals’ outfielder Stephen Piscotty suffered a groin injury during the ninth inning of the club’s 5-2 loss to the Pirates on Friday night. Piscotty fielded a fly ball from Josh Harrison for the first out of the inning and appeared to injure himself on the throw from the outfield. He was officially diagnosed with a right groin strain following the game, but the club has yet to report the severity of the strain or release a timetable for his return.
Piscotty, 26, has struggled to produce this season while dealing with several setbacks, including a hamstring strain, knee soreness and forearm tightness. He batted .240/.353/.378 with six home runs and a .731 OPS through his first 269 PA and went 0-for-4 on Friday with two strikeouts against the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole and Felipe Rivero.
Rookie outfielder Jose Martinez replaced Piscotty to finish the rest of the game, which ended in the Pirates’ favor following an intentional walk to Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell‘s three-run walk-off home run. With the loss, the Cardinals now sit six full games behind the division-leading Brewers and just half a game behind the second-place Cubs.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.