Pirates notebook: Cervelli return from injury delayed by rainout
Manager Clint Hurdle and head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk watched catcher Francisco Cervelli participate in running drills hours Monday at quiet PNC Park.
They saw enough speed and agility for Cervelli (foot) to return to the lineup Monday after a three-game absence. However, he got an extra day of rest when the game against the New York Mets was postponed by rain.
“Cervelli passed his tests. He’s in the lineup. We’re moving forward,” Hurdle said before the game was washed out. “(Chris Stewart) gave us everything he had. Funny dugout moment yesterday. Cervelli came out, and I asked him, ‘Hey, how was the paternity leave?’ and I actually got a laugh out of him.
“A lot of times when guys are dinged up and not playing, they can get a little salty. It’s understandable. I think the paternity thing made him chuckle a little bit.”
Late Monday night, the Pirates announced that the postponed game would be made up Tuesday as part of a traditional doubleheader, with a 4:05 p.m. start.
Tickets for the postponed game cannot be used Tuesday. Tickets originally purchased for Tuesday are good for both games.
Fans holding tickets to Monday’s game can exchange them to any other Monday through Thursday game in June or July.
After Andrew McCutchen was picked off Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, and Josh Harrison was picked off May 23 against the Colorado Rockies, the Pirates have some questions about opponents’ pick-off moves.
“We believe there’s more than a couple pitchers who have balk moves. We actually have a couple pitchers here who’ve been accused of having balk moves, too. They’re real,” Hurdle said.
“You can subtly do some things that give you one perception and really that’s not what you end up doing, that gets a runner to take that one lean even and gets him off-balance.”
Hurdle continued: “It’s a hard call because it happens so quick.
“You try to let them know in advance (about) the guys you believe should be kept under closer scrutiny. Sometimes, it happens. Sometimes, it doesn’t and you don’t get the call. No more than in the past. It’s usually the same guys. When a new one comes up, you throw his name out there.”
Ready to go
Infielder David Freese (hand) said he was able to grip a bat and was available to pinch hit had the game been played. Freese also took ground balls and made throws during pregame infield work.
The Pirates will send starting pitcher Jeff Locke a day early to Denver for the June 9 makeup game that falls between home series for the club. The game is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Thursday.
Travis Sawchik and Rob Biertempfel are Tribune-Review staff writers.