Hurdle weighs in on McCutchen's first ejection

Polanco still dealing with leg discomfort; Mercer back in lineup

Hurdle weighs in on McCutchen's first ejection

PITTSBURGH -- In Sunday's 4-3 win over the Dodgers, Andrew McCutchen was ejected from a game for the first time in his career. After being called out on the strikes in the seventh inning, McCutchen threw his bat in frustration while arguing the call with home-plate umpire Chris Conroy.

The Pirates have the option to send in a video clip of the low 94-mph fastball that ended McCutchen's at-bat, according to manager Clint Hurdle. Video coordinator Kevin Roach pulls the video and sends it to assistant general manager Kevan Graves, who directs it up the chain of command for review.

"I do believe in the men, I believe in the process and I believe certain conversations are held accordingly," Hurdle said. "What all that entails is left up to those guys that are in charge. But I have had situations where after a phone call, the next time, I've had a couple situations where the umpire has come and talk to me about what was brought to them."

McCutchen has struggled at the plate in June, entering Monday hitting .198 with an OPS of .584 and three home runs. He has mentioned seemingly bigger strike zones are contributing to his woes. McCutchen contested several calls earlier in the game, but the fastball low in the zone in the seventh inning was the breaking point.

"He has had more than his fair share of called strikes that are not strikes, in our eyes," Hurdle said.

Injury updates

• Right fielder Gregory Polanco was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight day Monday, still limited by left leg discomfort. Polanco pinch-hit for pitcher Juan Nicasio Sunday, striking out in the sixth inning, and the Pirates will continue to evaluate his condition in pregame workouts.

"Last night, all we could use him for was off the bench and run around the bases once," Hurdle said. "He wasn't an option for a double switch. We're going to try and see where he is tonight. He wasn't advancing from where he has been."

• Shortstop Jordy Mercer left Sunday's game with head and right ear discomfort after an awkward slide to second base ended with Chase Utley's knee contacting him on the head.

However, Mercer was in Monday's starting lineup in the leadoff spot. In addition to usual concussion protocol, Hurdle had another method for evaluating Mercer's status.

"He rode in on his scooter without a helmet," Hurdle said. "That was part of my evaluation process. I was like, 'You must be feeling pretty good.'"

Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.