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Pirates place Cervelli on DL, recall Moroff

Catcher unable to play with left wrist inflammation; Stewart, Diaz to split duties
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- With Francisco Cervelli unable to start Thursday night at PNC Park, the Pirates placed the veteran catcher on the disabled list due to left wrist inflammation and recalled infielder Max Moroff from Triple-A Indianapolis to reshape their bench.

Cervelli removed himself from Sunday's series finale in Toronto due to continuing pain in his left hand and wrist then sat out the Bucs' two-game series at Miller Park, prompting Pittsburgh to call up Elias Diaz on Tuesday to serve as additional depth behind the plate.

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PITTSBURGH -- With Francisco Cervelli unable to start Thursday night at PNC Park, the Pirates placed the veteran catcher on the disabled list due to left wrist inflammation and recalled infielder Max Moroff from Triple-A Indianapolis to reshape their bench.

Cervelli removed himself from Sunday's series finale in Toronto due to continuing pain in his left hand and wrist then sat out the Bucs' two-game series at Miller Park, prompting Pittsburgh to call up Elias Diaz on Tuesday to serve as additional depth behind the plate.

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Cervelli has repeatedly expressed his aversion to the bench, preferring to start every day he's physically able to do so, but he admitted Sunday the pain in his hand became too much to play through. His stint on the 10-day disabled list is retroactive to Monday.

The Pirates did not instantly place Cervelli on the disabled list following his latest bout of hand soreness, a lingering issue that makes it difficult for him to swing the bat or catch low pitches. Instead, they carried three catchers on their roster Tuesday and Wednesday in Milwaukee. Chris Stewart started both games, with Diaz backing him up.

Video: TB@PIT: Stewart cuts down Smith attempting to steal

After three days of rest, Cervelli went through a series of tests late Thursday afternoon to determine his availability and apparently did not pass. Stewart was back in Pittsburgh's starting lineup, batting eighth and catching for Jameson Taillon.

Stewart entered Thursday batting .198 with a .491 OPS in 37 games this season, but the Pirates value the veteran's defense and game-calling behind the plate. Stewart and Diaz, who has hit .266 with a .686 OPS in 30 games for the Pirates, will split catching duties until Cervelli is healthy enough to return.

This is Moroff's third stint with the Pirates this season. He exited Indianapolis' game Thursday afternoon during the second inning and departed for Pittsburgh.

Video: STL@PIT: Moroff hits a solo shot off the pole

Moroff has hit .145 with a .449 OPS, one home run and seven RBIs in 31 games for the Bucs. The switch-hitting utility infielder posted a .254/.390/.519 slash line with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 51 games for Indianapolis.

With Moroff available to back up second baseman Josh Harrison, shortstop Jordy Mercer and third baseman David Freese, manager Clint Hurdle can more freely use super-utility men Adam Frazier and Sean Rodriguez in right field while Gregory Polanco is sidelined. Polanco was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday (retroactive to Sunday) due to a strained left hamstring.

Minor matters
• Despite a solid performance in Triple-A on Thursday, Tyler Glasnow was dealt his first loss since being bumped out of Pittsburgh's rotation. Glasnow, who owns a 1.79 ERA in Indianapolis, allowed three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out 10 over 6 2/3 innings.

• Pirates top prospect Austin Meadows (strained right hamstring) was activated off the seven-day disabled list for Indianapolis on Tuesday. He is 2-for-15 with a double in three Triple-A starts since then.

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, Max Moroff, Chris Stewart