Collision sends Gonzalez (60-day), Marte to IL

Bucs' SS fractures clavicle; CF sustains bruised abdominal, quad

April 20th, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates will be without starting shortstop Erik Gonzalez for at least two months. It’s less clear how long they’ll have to play without Starling Marte, their star center fielder, after he was badly bruised in a collision with Gonzalez on Friday night.

Pittsburgh placed Marte on the 10-day injured list on Saturday with an abdominal wall contusion and a bruised right quad. Gonzalez, named Pittsburgh’s starting shortstop in Spring Training, went on the 60-day injured list with a fractured left clavicle.

Director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said on Saturday afternoon that it was too early to provide “an appropriate timeline” for either injured player. The only timeframe he mentioned was that the club expects both players to be back this year. Tomczyk said the Pirates hope to have more clarity within the next two or three days.

Tomczyk said both players were checked for concussion symptoms. Marte did not sustain any fractures, Tomczyk confirmed. The Pirates doctors’ initial assessment was that Gonzalez’s fracture was stable and thus should not require surgery; the shortstop will have his left arm in a sling for the time being.

Both players were injured while chasing after a pop-up hit to shallow center field by the Giants' Yangervis Solarte. Gonzalez, who has been involved in a handful of collisions in the field this season, glided back into center field and smashed hard into Marte. According to Tomczyk, Marte was running close to 25 mph while Gonzalez was moving around 19 mph before their violent collision.

Gonzalez’s left shoulder bent awkwardly, while Marte took the brunt of the impact around his ribcage. Gonzalez walked off the field, and Marte rode off in the front seat of a cart.

“It’s unfortunate. You hate to see your men laying on the field,” manager Clint Hurdle said on Friday night. “It was a yard sale out there. There’s hats. There’s gloves. That’s hard. We kind of got in a tough spot and ran into each other, both guys trying to make a play.”

The Pirates called up prospects Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds on Saturday to replace Gonzalez and Marte on the active roster.

Pittsburgh has already been rocked by injuries this season, making the club’s National League-best winning percentage all the more surprising.

Marte’s injury leaves the Pirates without their projected starting outfield (Corey Dickerson, Marte and Gregory Polanco) along with replacement right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall, reserve infielder Kevin Newman, backup catcher Elias Diaz, corner infielder/outfielder Jose Osuna and pitchers Chad Kuhl and Edgar Santana.

Polanco and Chisenhall are rehabbing with Triple-A Indianapolis. Dickerson, Newman and Osuna are taking part in baseball activities, but have not begun a rehab assignment. Kuhl and Santana are out for the season following Tommy John surgery.

Diaz reported to PNC Park on Saturday morning, but he was not activated from the injured list. Tomczyk said Diaz’s rehab assignment was not officially over, but noted that the catcher looked “good” after going 12-for-29 in seven games with Triple-A Indianapolis. It’s possible that Diaz could officially rejoin the Pirates on Sunday.

Second baseman Adam Frazier did not play on Friday due to back spasms. Frazier was not in the starting lineup on Saturday but said he was feeling better. About an hour before Saturday’s first pitch, Tomczyk said the club was still evaluating Frazier to determine his availability.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles, who exited his start on Friday after six scoreless innings due to a right hand contusion, played catch on Saturday and should be ready for his next start on Wednesday night.