Cervelli was pulled from Tuesday's game against the Rockies with an apparent neck/chest injury, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Cervelli was removed for the top of the sixth inning after being hit by a foul ball in the throat during the previous frame. The 33-year-old did hit a single after struck, but he didn't retake the field defensively. According to Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic, Cervelli made a precautionary exit due to a upper-chest contusion. Elias Diaz has taken over behind the plate for the Pirates.
Cervelli is out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Padres. Cervelli has not made an appearance over the last three games in San Diego despite not having an officially designated injury. He was hit by a bat on the back of his glove hand Wednesday, but his .505 OPS for the season may also be playing a part in the time off. Elias Diaz has excelled with a .316 average over the last week and will grab another start behind the plate Sunday.
Cervelli sat out his third straight game Saturday in San Diego. Although the team hasn't mentioned any health issues with the backstop, he took a swinging bat to the back of his glove hand while catching Wednesday and hasn't played since. Cervelli sports a 9:31 BB:K and his .243 BABIP is nearly 100 points below his career average of .327. He's struggled across the board offensively and the rest figures to help him physically recover. Backup Elias Diaz has played well over the last three games, giving Pittsburgh the opportunity to unplug Cervelli for several days.
Cervelli finds himself on the bench for the third straight game Saturday against the Padres. It's possible Cervelli is dealing with an unreported injury, as it's odd to see him sit three games in a row. It's also possible that his absence is performance-related, a seemingly justified move as he's started the season hitting .179/.269/.236. Elias Diaz will start again behind the plate.
Cervelli isn't starting Friday's game against the Padres. Cervelli will take a seat for the second straight day, allowing for Elias Diaz to nab another start behind the dish. Diaz is batting sixth in Cervelli's absence.
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