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Cervelli returns to 7-day concussion DL

Stallings called up as Bucs look out for long-term health of veteran catcher
MLB.com

Eight days after rejoining the team, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was placed back on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Thursday with what head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk described as "post-concussive" and "post-viral" symptoms.

Cervelli was sent to Pittsburgh, where he will be evaluated by team physicians and concussion experts. Cervelli has been treated for one concussion this season, which he suffered on June 6 in Baltimore, and he has been diagnosed with at least three during his professional career. Cervelli was put on the concussion list on June 7 and reinstated after serving the minimum seven-day stint.

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Eight days after rejoining the team, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was placed back on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Thursday with what head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk described as "post-concussive" and "post-viral" symptoms.

Cervelli was sent to Pittsburgh, where he will be evaluated by team physicians and concussion experts. Cervelli has been treated for one concussion this season, which he suffered on June 6 in Baltimore, and he has been diagnosed with at least three during his professional career. Cervelli was put on the concussion list on June 7 and reinstated after serving the minimum seven-day stint.

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Cervelli started four games between stints on the concussion list, most recently playing Monday at Miller Park. Tomczyk said Cervelli will be evaluated and monitored for dizziness, "fogginess" and other post-concussion symptoms.

"He's being seen by the doctors that know his health history, that know him the best," Tomczyk said. "Francisco wants to play. He's a competitor. I think that gets lost in this whole injury situation, and we all felt it was in his best interest for Francisco both short- and long-term not to allow him to play and make sure that his overall well-being is our first and utmost concern."

Cervelli was scratched from the Pirates' lineup on June 2 and said the next day he was dealing with fatigue, headaches and sinus issues. On Wednesday, Tomczyk said Cervelli has been dealing with a chronic condition since April. The specifics of that viral condition are unclear.

Video: CHC@PIT: Cervelli plates McCutchen with RBI single

"There's a lot of differentials that doctors go through," Tomczyk said. "They go through a battery of tests, and once those batteries of tests come back, they examine the player. They examine the patient, and they come up with the best plan of attack for him to return to play."

Manager Clint Hurdle said Cervelli has handled the situation well. The 31-year-old catcher, limited to 101 games last year, frequently expresses his frustration whenever injuries force him to sit out.

"You do the best you can with what you have and where you are. I think Francisco's done a very good job of that," Hurdle said. "Look at how he's been rewarded by doing that. He's got another challenge to meet now. I do believe he'll meet it. Working with the trainers, I believe there'll be an appropriate time and place and he'll push through this one as well. "

With Cervelli out, the Pirates called up catcher Jacob Stallings from Triple-A Indianapolis. Hurdle has not hidden his desire to carry only two catchers and said Wednesday they were holding onto three due to Cervelli's uncertain status. Yet the Bucs called up Stallings on Thursday to join Elias Diaz and Chris Stewart.

Video: MIA@PIT: Diaz opens the scoring with a two-run double

"I don't think it's important to designate a starter," Hurdle said. "I think both guys [Diaz and Stewart] will catch and be used appropriately.

"The best bat we have right now is probably Diaz, when he's not catching, so we looked at it from that standpoint. This way, we have in-game moves we can make. We're not going to be out of catchers after two, so we can be flexible with Diaz when he's not starting."

Stewart returned to the lineup Wednesday night in Milwaukee and "met all the criteria" the Pirates were looking for after his stint on the disabled list, Hurdle said. Diaz started Thursday's series finale and figures to get the majority of the playing time, particularly after hitting .296 with a .356 on-base percentage in his first 22 games this season.

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

Pittsburgh Pirates, Francisco Cervelli