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Pirates place Francisco Cervelli on seven-day disabled list

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The Pirates placed catcher Francisco Cervelli on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, according to a team announcement. In a corresponding move, catcher Jacob Stallings was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to participate in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Brewers.

While Cervelli was officially reinstated from the concussion DL on July 8, he’s been limited to just four starts behind the plate and batted an underwhelming .071/.235/.143 in five total outings. The Pirates have yet to specify the severity of his condition — MLB.com’s Adam Berry notes that the veteran catcher had reported recurring concussion symptoms last month, but exactly what triggered the move this week is still unclear — but it seems likely that he could take the field again after the All-Star break, assuming everything goes smoothly during his recovery. Through 60 games this season, he carries a .243/.379/.460 batting line, nine home runs and an .839 OPS in 235 PA.

Stallings, meanwhile, is gearing up for his third stint with the Pirates in 2018. The 28-year-old backstop has looked halfway decent in Triple-A over the first half of the season, slashing .293/.337/.401 with 16 extra-base hits and a .738 OPS, but has yet to make his mark in the majors after going 1-for-7 with a base hit.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.