The Pirates had some extra help in the dugout Tuesday night, with Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski and former center fielder Bill Virdon added to the coaching staff.
According to the Tribune-Review, the Pirates got permission from the Twins to add a couple of extra coaches for their series against Minnesota.
“This isn’t a fantasy camp thing; this isn’t spring training,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re going to have them here to help coach and teach and have them at least feel part of it more throughout the game. We brought them in for them to bring us something, and hopefully we can give them something in return and everybody wins.”
Mazeroski, maybe the best defensive second baseman in major league history, was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 2001. He spent his entire 17-year career with the Pirates. Virdon was never an All-Star in the bigs, but his glove made him a regular in center for 11 seasons. He was also a two-time Manager of the Year, first with the Yankees and later with the Astros.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.