Center fielder Andrew McCutchen and pitcher James McDonald, arguably two of the Pirates’ three best players (along with Pedro Alvarez), were both injured in the Pirates’ 8-7 win in a Spring Training game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. McCutchen apparently has an injury to his left (non-throwing) wrist, while McDonald’s injury is to his left side. The exact nature of these injuries isn’t known, and it sounds like the Pirates are staying mum about them until they make some sort of announcement today.
“One thing I just want to be up front with is, I don’t talk about injuries,” [Pirates manager Clint Hurdle] said. “We usually make a statement. … I’m not a doctor. Normally, the information doesn’t get accurate until later on. So the reason being [potential] misinformation, I just say that we’ll make a comment later.”
Pirates spokesman Jim Trdinich said team president Frank Coonelly wouldn’t comment on the injuries, although Coonelly attended the game at Charlotte Sports Park.
While serious injuries to McCutchen and McDonald was be a death blow to the Pirates’ already-modest hopes of doing anything at all this season, there is reason not to panic just yet. McCutchen’s injury isn’t to his dominant hand. And in McDonald’s case, the really worrisome injuries for pitchers are ones to shoulders and elbows. Since this one is to his side, it’s easy to imagine him just being shut down for a few days.