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Pirates notebook: Knee surgery ends McKenry's season

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates catcher Michael McKenry will miss the rest of the season after having knee surgery.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 4:48 p.m.

Catcher Michael McKenry had season-ending surgery to repair damage to his left knee, the Pirates announced Wednesday. McKenry had surgery to repair a torn meniscus Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Pirates expect McKenry to be ready for spring training in 2014.

The injury occurred Saturday when McKenry slid awkwardly into second base in Miami.

The Pirates called up Tony Sanchez on Sunday, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft. Sanchez is expected to be the team's backup catcher for the remainder of the season.

McKenry initially thought the injury was minor, but he subsequently dealt with severe swelling.

McKenry was struggling at the plate — batting .217 — and throwing out baserunners, catching just six of 41 runners attempting to steal.

McKenry is on the 15-day DL. He will not be able to put weight on the leg for about six weeks.

More playing time for Barmes

Clint Barmes started at shortstop for the 10th time in 14 games since the All-Star break on Wednesday. In early June, Hurdle said rookie Jordy Mercer would receive most of the playing time for the foreseeable future in part due to Barmes' cold bat.

“Keep an eye on the lineup, and it will show you who is going to be playing short,” Hurdle said. “I like the way (Barmes) is swinging the bat. He made a little mechanical adjustment with the leg kick.

“Right now we are kind of going on a case-by-case matchup basis.”

Cardinals place Molina on DL

The Cardinals were dealt a significant blow when catcher Yadier Molina left Tuesday night's game with a knee strain and was placed on the disabled list. The Cardinals appeared to avoid a worst-case scenario.

“There was some swelling, but they didn't see anything that would require surgery,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Cardinals not pressing

Despite losing six straight games entering Wednesday to fall to second place in the division, Matheny doesn't sense his team is pressing.

The Cardinals were 3 for 21 with runners in scoring position in the first three games of the series.

“We hit a lot of balls hit hard,” Matheny said. “That's something our guys can control. I continue to tell them that's what they need to control.”

Minor trade

The Pirates acquired minor league infielder Robert Andino from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later. Andino, 29, was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis. He batted .184 in 85 plate appearances with the Mariners earlier this season, then was outrighted off their 40-man roster.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

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