Season ends for injured Pirates Josh Bell, Starling Marte, others |

Season ends for injured Pirates Josh Bell, Starling Marte, others

Jerry DiPaola
Getty Images
Josh Bell finished the season with 37 home runs and 116 RBIs.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell drives in Bryan Reynolds with a hit off Miami Marlins starting pitcher Robert Dugger during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The offseason has started early for injured Pittsburgh Pirates Josh Bell, Starling Marte, Cole Tucker and Elias Diaz.

Todd Tomczyk, the Pirates director of sports medicine, said the team’s management and medical personnel have decided to shut down those injured players for the remainder of the season.

In the cases of Bell and Marte, the decision is no surprise. Bell has been out since Sept. 13 with a left groin strain. Marte hasn’t played since spraining his left wrist Sept. 8 while making a diving catch.

Both could play “if we were in a different place in the season and a different place in the standings,” Tomczyk said.

Tomczyk said he met with Bell before the game Wednesday with the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

“(Bell said), ‘Really? Do we really have to do this?’ ” Tomczyk said.

“I told him, ‘Josh, this is what’s best for you.’ He’s still fighting it to the last minute.”

Bell finishes his first All-Star season with 37 home runs (tied for eighth in the National League with the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber) and 116 RBIs (fifth). His slash line closes at .277/.367/.569.

“Josh wants to be out there. He wants to finish on the field with his teammates,” Tomczyk said. “But as a group, medical team and organization standpoint, it’s best for his offseason to begin right now.”

Tomczyk said Marte also wants to play, but he is experiencing some “minor discomfort with swinging.”

Marte hit .295 and set career highs with 23 home runs , 82 RBIs, a .503 slugging percentage and .845 OPS (on-base, plus slugging). He has been replaced in center field by rookie Bryan Reynolds, who took a .314 batting average into Wednesday’s game.

Tucker reported left knee discomfort Sunday after swinging the bat, Tomczyk said.

“It’s probably not the best decision for him to power through and push through this type of injury,” he said.

Tucker is expected to make a full recovery in time to have a normal offseason.

Diaz sprained the MCL in his right knee in Milwaukee over the weekend.

“His cleat got stuck while he was blocking a pitch,” Tomczyk said.

In other injury news:

• Melky Cabrera has some discomfort in right thumb after a “long season of wear and tear,” Tomczyk said. Cabrera, 35, played in 128 games and hit .275 this season. He is sixth among active players with 1,957 career hits.

• Pitchers Chad Kuhl and Edgar Santana, who are recovering from Tommy John surgeries, are expected to make full recoveries in time for spring training.

“Anybody who has had surgery will have some type of different spring training build-up,” Tomczyk said. “But those conversations are still ongoing. We anticipate no restrictions.”

• Gregory Polanco, who played in only 42 games while recovering from shoulder surgery in September 2018, received the third of his three scheduled plasma injections this week.

“He continues to have normal range of motion. He continues to make progress. We’re going to see how he’s responded to the injections, which as of right now are very encouraging, Tomczyk said. “The prognosis is good for him to be available in spring training, but that’s still evolving and still fluid.”

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Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
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