Pirates put Josh Bell, Corey Dickerson on DL, recall Jose Osuna, Austin Meadows
Three days before the MLB trade deadline, the Pirates put two hot-hitting starters, first baseman Josh Bell and left fielder Corey Dickerson, on the 10-day disabled list Saturday.
Bell was hitting .358 with four doubles, a triple and a home run in his past 17 games. He left the game Friday against the New York Mets in the second inning.
Shortly after making that announcement, the Pirates put Dickerson on the DL. He injured his hamstring Tuesday in Cleveland. Dickerson’s stint is retroactive to Wednesday when he injured his hamstring in Cleveland.
To replace Bell and Dickerson, the Pirates recalled first baseman Jose Osuna and Austin Meadows from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Osuna, who played both games of an International League seven-inning doubleheader Friday, was in the Pirates starting lineup Saturday against the Mets, batting fifth and playing first base.
Todd Tomczyk, director of sports medicine, said Bell hurt his oblique swinging at a pitch Friday.
“We’re optimistic it could be the minimum (10 days),” Tomczyk said.
Tomczyk said Dickerson “wanted to play through this.”
“He tried to play through it. But the style that he plays, it probably wasn’t the best option for him to try to push through this and make something minor into, potentially, long-term beyond where our comfort level is.”
Bell has been the most reliable Pirates player this season, leading the team in games played (104 of 105 before Saturday), nine more than runner-up Colin Moran. Bell, who played in 159 games last year (his first full major league season), was hitting .266 with six homers and 49 RBIs.
Osuna arrived at PNC Park on Saturday morning after getting two hits in six at-bats in the doubleheader against Buffalo. For the Indians, he has played 32 games at third base, 17 at first base and nine in the outfield.
Earlier this season, Osuna was with the Pirates and hit .196 with two home runs in his first four games. He totaled seven RBIs. In Indiananpolis, he was hitting .317 with five homers and 40 RBIs.
Meadows, the Pirates’ 2013 first-round draft choice, is back for his second major league stint. He was recalled May 18 and was hitting as high as .455 before he was returned to Indianapolis on July 15 with a .298 batting average.
Meadows was hitting for a higher average and with more power (.298, five homers, 13 RBIs) in 48 games with the Pirates than he has in 42 games in Triple-A (.279, 2 homers, 21 RBIs).
While losing Bell, the Pirates got center fielder Starling Marte (wrist) back in the lineup for the first time since he was hit by a pitch Wednesday in Cleveland.
“You could see his angst the last couple days in not being able to play,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Also, Adam Frazier started at second base for Josh Harrison on Saturday. Hurdle said Harrison got the night off to rest his hamstring.
He said it
As he does occasionally, Hurdle turned into a philosopher when asked about the contributions of 10-year veteran David Freese off the field.
“We’re prepared for our future through our past if we’ve paid attention,” Hurdle said. “I believe David’s paid attention to his past. He’s experienced a lot personally and professionally. There are opportunities to share.”
Hurdle put Freese, 35, in the rich company of former Pirates in terms of leadership.
“(A.J.) Burnett, (Russell) Martin, (Aramis) Ramirez in his own way was probably as impactful a guy as we had in a short period of time in a different way,” he said.
Hurdle reached back to the 2013 season and mentioned Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau as clubhouse leaders.
He also said Sean Rodriguez, 33, is a similar role model for younger players.
“Two guys over 30 who have seen a lot, done a lot and experienced a lot and are able to share and help other players out,” Hurdle said.
That said, Hurdle did not put Freese in the starting lineup Saturday after he had played in five consecutive games. He homered in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday and belted the game-winning single to beat the Mets on Friday, 5-4.
“It’s the longest stretch that he’s had to cover,” Hurdle said. “With the way he’s going right now, I prefer to be smart with it.”
Freese is hitting .317 in 39 home games this season.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.