The Pittsburgh Pirates will get their starting catcher back on Friday night
After a short stint on the 10-day disabled list, Pittsburgh Pirates’ catcher Francisco Cervelli is back with the team. Prior to the start of their three-game series in Cincinnati, the Pirates activated Cervelli from the 10-day disabled list on Friday afternoon.
Francisco Cervelli had been on the disabled list due to left wrist inflammation. This was Cervelli’s second disabled list this season. The first was due to a concussion.
With his activation off the disabled list, Francisco Cervelli will be in the starting lineup for the Pirates tonight at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The Bucco backstop will be batting seventh for the team this evening.
Prior to going on the disabled list, he was having a very Francisco Cervelli like season. He was drawing a lot of walks (10.2 percent walk rate), playing excellent defense (4.5 dWAR), and was right around league average as a hitter (93 wRC+).
One area Cervelli had improved this season was power. His .121 ISO is his highest since 2014 and the third highest of his career. Prior to injuring his wrist in San Diego in late July, Cervelli was having a strong offensive season with a .132 ISO, 101 wRC+, and a .327 wOBA. There is reason to believe that with a healed wrist his offense will get back to these results during the season’s final month.
To make room for Francisco Cervelli on the 25-man roster, catcher Elias Diaz was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Even though some Pirate fans believe that Elias Diaz is Pudge Rodriguez + Johnny Bench multiplied by Carlton Fisk, this simply is not true.
In 36 games played and 106 plate appearances this season Diaz owns a .283 on-base percentage, .273 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 66 at the Major League level. He also struggled with handling the Pirates’ pitching staff.
With Diaz optioned back to Triple-A, veteran Chris Stewart will remain as Cervelli’s backup catcher. At least for now. Odds are, Elias Diaz will return to the Pirates when rosters expand in September.