PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates have put catcher Francisco Cervelli on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left hand that is expected to sideline him four to six weeks.
The Pirates also acquired backup catcher Erik Kratz from the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday for cash.
Cervelli left Friday night’s game against St. Louis after breaking his hamate bone on a swing. He had surgery Saturday.
Cervelli is hitting .257 with 21 RBIs. Chris Stewart took over after Cervelli was hurt in the fourth inning.
Kratz is expected to join the Pirates for Saturday night’s home game against the Cardinals.
The 35-year-old Kratz made his big league debut with the Pirates in 2010. He also has played for Philadelphia, Toronto, Kansas City and Houston.
Kratz went to spring training with San Diego this season and was traded to Houston. He played 15 games for the Astros, was cut in mid-May and joined the Angels’ Triple-A team.
The Pirates also designated for assignment Triple-A right-hander Trey Haley.
While the move largely went ignored amid perhaps the craziest trade deadline ever, the Pirates’ acquisition of J.A. Happ continues to pay off big.
Happ struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits and no walks over seven scoreless innings last night in a 4-1 victory over the first-place Cardinals. The southpaw gave up four runs over 4 1/3 innings in his first start with Pittsburgh on August 4 before getting an extended break. He has posted a 0.60 ERA in five starts since and hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in any of them. His secondary numbers back up his success, as he has a 26/5 K/BB ratio in 30 innings during that span.
Happ actually got off to a strong start this year with the Mariners before hitting a rough patch. According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the southpaw said that the focus has been on getting him back to what made him successful in the past.
“I felt like as we broke this year I felt real good about kind of where I was at overall,” Happ said. “Over time things change slowly. You maybe form a bad habit or two. So it’s just trying to get back to that kind of pitcher.”
Returning to the National League for a team in a playoff race has surely helped matters, but we could be looking at the next major success story for Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett threw a simulated game on Friday, and will throw a bullpen session on Sunday, MLB.com’s Tom Singer reports. The right-hander said, “I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great.”
Burnett hasn’t pitched since late July due to inflammation in his right elbow. There was some concern that the 38-year-old veteran might have thrown his last pitch in the majors, as he plans to retire after the season. However, it sounds as if a mid-September return is in the cards, which would give him three or four starts.
Burnett currently holds a 3.06 ERA with a 114/36 K/BB ratio over 135 1/3 innings.