Surprising first-place Pirates will be without Josh Harrison for six weeks; here's what it means for them

The Pittsburgh Pirates began the new week as baseball's unlikeliest first-place team.

Entering the season, few figured the Pirates would enjoy much glory in 2018. The same team, after all, had traded both Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole without bringing in much talent through external means. Yet the Pirates, off to an 11-4 start, are ensured a share of first place in the National League Central for at least another few days.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, their Cinderella-like run just got a little tougher. That's because second baseman Josh Harrison could miss the next six weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his left hand:

Harrison exited Sunday's game after being struck by a pitch. To that point, he'd hit .263/.328/.351 (89 OPS+), numbers below his three-year average of .280/.326/.404.

In Harrison's place, the Pirates seem likely to turn to a combination of Adam Frazier and Sean Rodriguez at the keystone. Max Moroff could also factor into the equation. Frazier, for his part, has been an unsung contributor since reaching the majors in 2016. He's hit .281/.345/.402 in 199 career games while seeing action all over, including at second base and in the corner outfield.

The Pirates will begin a three-game set at home against the Colorado Rockies on Monday.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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