PITTSBURGH -- For all Josh Harrison accomplished this season, his best since a breakout 2014 campaign, the year might be best remembered for the inexplicable number of pitches that beat up his body.In that regard, it seemed fitting that Harrison's season came to an end Saturday night after his Major
PITTSBURGH -- For all Josh Harrison accomplished this season, his best since a breakout 2014 campaign, the year might be best remembered for the inexplicable number of pitches that beat up his body.
In that regard, it seemed fitting that Harrison's season came to an end Saturday night after his Major League-leading 23rd hit-by-pitch. He sustained a fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his left hand, the club announced Sunday morning, and will end the year on the disabled list.
"Very tough. He had poured everything he had into the season," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He ended up leaving it all on the field. I guess the 23rd hit-by-pitch broke the piñata, literally. An unfortunate circumstance, for sure."
With Harrison on the 10-day DL, the Pirates called up Chris Bostick from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Harrison absorbed a 95.3-mph fastball from right-hander Tyler Mahle in the fifth inning of the Pirates' 5-0 win over the Reds on Saturday night and left the batter's box in obvious pain. He remained in the game to run the bases but did not return to play defense.
"I just think guys need to know if you're going to throw in, you've got to be able to locate," Harrison said. "You get hit 23 times, I don't like to say it, but unfortunately something may happen. Unfortunately, the 23rd one got me."
After two below-average years at the plate, Harrison rebounded this season. He slashed .272/.339/.432 with a career-high 16 homers, 47 RBIs and 12 steals. He finished with 3.2 Wins Above Replacement, which currently leads the Pirates.
"Very pleased. Coming into this year, I told you guys it was the best I'd felt in a couple years," Harrison said. "While I didn't get to finish the season the way I wanted to, I poured everything out there. To know that I was able to play the way I wanted was very encouraging."
Sitting in front of his locker after the Pirates' 3-1 win on Sunday, Harrison was already looking forward to getting healthy again. He has something else to anticipate, too: the birth of his daughter next month.
Harrison earned his second career All-Star nod as he carried the Pirates' lineup early on this season, slashing .295/.376/.458 through the end of June. After spending most of last year at second base, Harrison bounced between second, third and the outfield.
"Very consistent," Hurdle said. "For whatever reason, in my mind, it helps his game because he can help us. He's such a solid defender wherever he goes. … He's played his best baseball when he has moved around a little bit."
Max Moroff figures to benefit the most from Harrison's absence over the season's final month. The rookie infielder started Sunday's series finale against the Reds at second base. Hurdle said the Pirates were going to find playing time for Moroff anyway, but this creates a clearer opportunity.
"There's work to be done. I think he's in a much better place than when he first walked in the door," Hurdle said. "I think the confidence level has risen, and I think there's room for that to grow as well."
Bostick played nearly every day for Indianapolis and was recently named the team's Most Valuable Player. Bostick slashed .294/.362/.418 in 126 games for Indianapolis while playing second, third and all outfield positions. He will get occasional starts, Hurdle said, but is more likely to take on a Sean Rodriguez/Adam Frazier-type super-utility role down the stretch.
"Just trying to learn as much as I can and get as much experience as I can. Try to contribute whatever I can," Bostick said. "Try to go out there and give my best, be as consistent as I was down there."
• Austin Meadows, the organization's top prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Sunday with an oblique strain. This is the second consecutive year Meadows will end the season on Indianapolis' DL due to an oblique injury.
"He's continued to have some discomfort in the oblique," general manager Neal Huntington said. "Rather than push it and injure it more significantly, yeah, he's most likely done."
• David Freese also was hit by a pitch Saturday night but remained in the game and felt "fine" a day later, Hurdle said. Sunday was simply a planned off-day for the veteran infielder.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.