Sore left heel keeps McCutchen grounded

Sore left heel keeps McCutchen grounded

OAKLAND -- After playing Friday and Saturday night with a sore left heel, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was out of the starting lineup Sunday against the A's.

The decision was made to get McCutchen off his feet before the Pirates play seven games against the Cardinals and Cubs heading into the All-Star break.

"I feel good now. Last night [stunk]. It didn't feel good," McCutchen said Sunday morning. "Honestly, I was just like, 'I'll play through that. I'll play through anything.'

"It's not fun. Having to walk or run doesn't feel too good. I don't mind running. Stopping doesn't feel great. I've played through it and can still hit. Not a big deal. I can run if I have to run."

McCutchen said he bruised his heel while trying to leap after Marcus Semien's first-inning home run Friday night, losing his footing while falling down from the fence and landing hard on his heel. The pain lingered, but McCutchen played through it.

"My heel flared up a little bit after that happened. Then all day yesterday, I was just playing through it," he said. "I feel better today, but I guess they feel I need another one."

The Pirates training staff checked on McCutchen's heel and didn't find anything "out of the ordinary," he said. He believes he'll be ready to play Monday afternoon in St. Louis.

"I just feel that before these last seven games, I wanted to give him a blow [Sunday] because I thought it was barking on him a little bit last night at the end of the game," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Him not going out there for nine innings can't hurt him. Hopefully it'll give him a little breather for our series in St. Louis."

Around the horn
Gregory Polanco (left leg discomfort) started at designated hitter Sunday for the fourth time in the Pirates' last five games. Matt Joyce started in right field.

• Adam Frazier, who stole 17 bases and got caught 15 times in Triple-A this season, stole second base and swiped third as part of a double-steal with Starling Marte in Saturday night's 4-2 win. Frazier is now 3-for-3 on stolen-base attempts in the Majors.

"We're going to pick the opportunities. The consequences and results will be on me," Hurdle said. "Unless he steals the base, then it's all him."

• The international signing period began on Saturday.'s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Pirates signed three players from Colombia: right-handers Santiago Florez ($150,000 signing bonus) and Luis Arrieta ($130,000) and infielder Francisco Acuna ($70,000). The club has not confirmed the signings.

• Hurdle was amused to learn that his moment spent rocking out in the dugout Saturday night to Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band" had gone viral online.

Said Hurdle, smiling: "You tell these players to go out and play like they're 6 [years old] in the backyard and have some fun..."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.