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Cervelli returns to DL with left quad irritation

Pirates catcher was injured in Friday's game against Reds
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- One day after returning to the Pirates' lineup, catcher Francisco Cervelli is back on the disabled list.

Cervelli exited the Bucs' 9-5 loss to the Reds on Friday night after 2 1/2 innings due to left quadriceps discomfort. On Saturday, he was placed on the 10-day DL with what the club called left quadriceps irritation. Catcher Elias Diaz, sent to the Minors on Friday to make room for Cervelli, was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.

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CINCINNATI -- One day after returning to the Pirates' lineup, catcher Francisco Cervelli is back on the disabled list.

Cervelli exited the Bucs' 9-5 loss to the Reds on Friday night after 2 1/2 innings due to left quadriceps discomfort. On Saturday, he was placed on the 10-day DL with what the club called left quadriceps irritation. Catcher Elias Diaz, sent to the Minors on Friday to make room for Cervelli, was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.

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Cervelli sat out from Aug. 13 until Friday due to left wrist inflammation. He felt he was healthy enough to return -- not 100 percent, he admitted, but perhaps 80 or 90 percent. He drew a walk in the third inning, moved to second on a single and scored on Adam Frazier's single to center.

As Cervelli was running from second to home, he tweaked something in his quad and did not return. Catcher Chris Stewart replaced him on Friday and started on Saturday night against the Reds.

This is Cervelli's fourth trip to the DL this season. He was sidelined twice in June by a concussion, again earlier this month by recurring left hand/wrist pain, and now by a leg injury.

The 31-year-old is hitting .249/.342/.370 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 81 games. Last year, he was limited to 101 games following a June operation to remove a fractured hamate bone. Cervelli believes the lingering effects of that surgery led to his hand/wrist issues this season.

The Pirates signed Cervelli to a three-year, $31 million contract extension following a breakout 2015 season in which he hit .295/.370/.401 and totaled 3.2 Wins Above Replacement. This is the first year of that extension, which will pay Cervelli $10.5 million next season and $11.5 million in 2019.

Cervelli never hides his distaste for sitting on the bench or disabled list. When he came off the DL on Friday, he spoke about creating a plan with the Pirates' training staff that will help keep him on the field more consistently in 2018.

"Next year, it cannot happen again, you know?" Cervelli said.

Diaz, 26, barely had time to return to Triple-A. He left Cincinnati on Friday afternoon and quickly reported to Indianapolis at the urging of manager Clint Hurdle. Forty minutes before Saturday's game, he was back on the Major League roster.

With Cervelli's status in doubt and rosters set to expand from 25 to 40 players on Friday, Diaz will spend the rest of the season in the Majors.

Around the horn
• Left-hander Wade LeBlanc (left quad strain) threw a two-inning simulated game on Saturday afternoon. He is eligible to come off the DL on Monday.

• Right fielder Gregory Polanco (left hamstring strain) participated in agility drills on Saturday for the first time since sustaining the injury on Aug. 12. Polanco said he is feeling better and focusing on exercises that will strengthen his troublesome hamstring, and the Pirates are optimistic he will return at some point this season.

"There's reason to believe he's coming along," Hurdle said. "He's making progress. We still haven't set a time frame goal for him as of yet."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Francisco Cervelli