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Pirates notebook: Cervelli 'embarrassed' about broken hand

Rob Biertempfel
| Friday, June 17, 2016, 2:12 p.m.
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli winces as he is examined against the Cardinals last week. He left the game with pain in his left hand after a swing and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. “I heard something pop in there,” he said.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli winces as he is examined against the Cardinals last week. He left the game with pain in his left hand after a swing and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks. “I heard something pop in there,” he said.

CHICAGO — There was pain, of course. Frustration, too. But Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli also felt something else after breaking a bone in his left hand one week ago.

“I feel a little embarrassed,” Cervelli said. “It's embarrassing because I wanted to stay (on the field), especially after the confidence they (showed in) me with the contract and everything. I know it's something I can't control, but that's my personality. That's the way I feel.”

Cervelli is expected to miss four to six weeks after having surgery to remove a broken hamate. On Friday, he rejoined the team at Wrigley Field and spoke for the first time about his injury.

“It's a little nightmare,” he said.

Cervelli broke the bone while batting in the fourth inning June 10 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He took one swing, grimaced and immediately left the game.

“I knew something was wrong,” Cervelli said. “I heard something pop in there. I didn't know it was a bone.”

On May 17, Cervelli signed a three-year, $31 million contract extension. He played in 49 out of 61 games this year before breaking his hamate. Last season, he appeared in a career-high 130 games.

Earlier in his career, Cervelli endured a long list of injuries that includes a broken wrist in 2008, a concussion in 2010 and a broken foot in 2011.

“It's probably something that I'll learn to live with,” Cervelli said of his fluke injuries.

The worst was in April 2013, when a foul tip shattered a knuckle on his right hand.

“There was a lot of pain and a lot of screws inside (the knuckle),” Cervelli said. “With (the hamate), they take (the stitches) out, then just wait for the scar to heal, and then you're ready to go.”

Cervelli is wearing a soft cast and said his stitches probably will be removed Monday. He got treatment in the trainer's room and went through his first cardio workout Friday at Wrigley Field.

“They're going to get me back really quick,” Cervelli said. “Right now, I've got to stay focused on getting healthy so I can help my team.”

Changes coming to rotation?

After getting roughed up again in his last start, Juan Nicasio might be on his way out of the rotation.

The right-hander's next turn would be Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park. The Pirates have not yet announced their pitchers for that series.

Nicasio gave up six runs on seven hits in 4 13 innings Thursday in a 6-4 loss against the New York Mets.

The Mets scored four runs in the third inning, including home runs by Neil Walker and Michael Conforto. It continued the trend of Nicasio struggling the second time through the opponent's lineup in a game.

The first time through the lineup, Nicasio is holding foes to a .235 batting average and has a 4.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The second time through, he allows a .326 average and his SO/BB is 1.15.

If Nicasio is moved into the bullpen, he could be replaced by Wilfredo Boscan or A.J. Schugel. At Triple-A Indianapolis, Boscan is 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA, and he is on the same rotation schedule as Nicasio.

Top prospect Tyler Glasnow, who pitched Friday night for Indy, also might be an option. Glasnow is 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA.

Schedule change

The game against the Reds that was rained out May 10 in Cincinnati will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader Sept. 17. The makeup game will begin at 12:10 p.m. and the regular game will start at 6:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park.

Feeling a draft

Baseball America reported the Pirates signed second-round pick Travis MacGregor ($900,000 bonus) and third-rounder Stephen Alemais ($500,000). Both bonuses were below slot value.

Also signed were Matt Anderson (10th round), Arden Pabst (12th), John Pomeroy (13th), Matt Frawley (17th), Adam Oller (20th), Garrett Brown (23rd), Geoff Hartlieb (29th) and Hunter Owen (25th).

The Pirates have signed 20 picks. Still unsigned are competitive balance round 1A pick Nick Lodolo and fourth-rounder Braedon Ogle.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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