PITTSBURGH -- A day after exiting early with injuries, center fielder Starling Marte and catcher Francisco Cervelli did not play in the Pirates' 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon.Cervelli was well enough to catch warmup pitches between innings on Wednesday while wearing a compression sleeve on his
PITTSBURGH -- A day after exiting early with injuries, center fielder Starling Marte and catcher Francisco Cervelli did not play in the Pirates' 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon.
Cervelli was well enough to catch warmup pitches between innings on Wednesday while wearing a compression sleeve on his bruised right forearm. Marte's outlook is less clear, as he confirmed after the game that he is dealing with a right oblique injury.
Marte exited Tuesday's game after one inning due to right side/lower back discomfort, which he initially felt after swinging in the first inning. Marte had his side wrapped on Wednesday morning, and Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk acknowledged that any injury in the abdominal/oblique area is "always a concern."
"It's definitely just a discomfort. Nothing sharp, nothing crazy painful. It's just a discomfort that we're trying to figure out what it is, where it's coming from, not trying to make it worse," Marte said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. "From the moment that I lifted my head up after my swing, everyone was able to notice there was something wrong. … They know I'm willing to play through it. They just really want to protect me, so I'm submitting to that right now."
Marte went on the disabled list with a strained right oblique in 2012, his rookie season, and missed a little less than three weeks. He is hoping to avoid the DL this time around.
"We were talking about that recently. I don't think it's necessary to go onto the DL," Marte said. "I do just kind of want to feel it out and continue with my trainers. I don't think it's necessary to go onto the DL right now."
Cervelli said Tuesday night that his bruised right forearm will be "fine" after absorbing a 93.6-mph fastball, but he did not return to the lineup for Wednesday's series finale. Elias Diaz started behind the plate and went 1-for-2 with two walks.
Sean Rodriguez, who replaced Marte on Tuesday night, started in center field again on Wednesday and delivered a two-run double in the second inning. Rodriguez insisted in Spring Training that he would be Pittsburgh's backup center fielder, and manager Clint Hurdle agreed that the veteran super-utility man is the Bucs' best option without Marte.
"I don't know if anybody plays that ball off the wall any better than [Rodriguez] does," Hurdle said. "He's not going to cover the ground Marte does; nobody is. But he moves well, he's got good instincts, got a strong arm."
No matter how long Marte is sidelined, the Pirates will not shift right fielder Gregory Polanco to center. They have held that stance since Spring Training, when Hurdle often mentioned the club's desire to help Polanco become the best right fielder he can be.
"I have no desire to move Polanco," Hurdle said Wednesday. "Zero."
If Marte does require a DL stint, the Pirates could go a number of different ways to fill his roster spot. It seems unlikely that they would call up outfielder Austin Meadows, their top position-player prospect. Outfielders Christopher Bostick and Jordan Luplow, who have some Major League experience, are a call away in Triple-A. Second baseman Josh Harrison is also due to return from the DL soon.
• Harrison (fractured left hand) was scheduled to play nine innings for Double-A Altoona on Wednesday in the second game of his Minor League rehab assignment. Tomczyk said the Pirates will re-evaluate his status on Wednesday night, but they have him penciled in to play again Thursday.
• Starter Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) remains on track to make his final rehab start on Friday for Triple-A Indianapolis. He played catch on Wednesday morning at PNC Park, where he and fellow former Astro Michael Feliz showed off their World Series rings.
• Reliever A.J. Schugel, who has been on the disabled list all season with right shoulder discomfort, saw Dr. James Andrews and received a platelet-rich plasma injection, Tomczyk said. Schugel will be shut down from throwing for the next two weeks while rehabbing at the Pirate City complex in Bradenton, Fla., before the Pirates attempt to rebuild his arm strength.
• Left-hander Enny Romero (left shoulder impingement) was recently re-examined by team doctors, Tomczyk said. He will continue to take part in strengthening and conditioning exercises while planning to resume throwing soon.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.