Cervelli's season comes to an end

Cervelli's season comes to an end

PITTSBURGH -- Catcher Francisco Cervelli has played only three innings since Aug. 13 due to injuries, and said on Friday that he "never had it in my mind to quit" and still wants to play in 2017, but when he sat down in manager Clint Hurdle's office on Monday afternoon, he realized he had simply run out of time.

Sidelined since Aug. 26 by a sore left quadriceps, Cervelli has been taking batting practice and jogging but not blocking balls behind the plate or running the bases. So with 12 games remaining, the Pirates decided to shut him down for the rest of the season.

"As we mapped out the calendar, we've just come to the conclusion that we've run out of days for us to feasibly and realistically push to continue to play," Hurdle said. "He's worked as hard as he can. He's poured everything he can into it to get to the point he has today."

Even with the Pirates out of the race, Cervelli wanted to return. He takes pride in developing strong relationships with his pitchers, and Pittsburgh has a young rotation. The 31-year-old veteran is under contract for the next two seasons as part of his three-year, $31 million extension.

"He knows how much he's put into this to try to fight back," Hurdle said. "But the risk versus the reward at this point ... We need to get him into the position now to just go have a really good recovery this offseason. He's in a good frame of mind, though."

Cervelli will work with the Pirates' pitchers over the next two weeks while spending additional time with rookie catcher Elias Diaz, who will continue to receive most of the playing time. Diaz projects to be Cervelli's backup next season.

"[Diaz is] improving. I think he's shown growth. I think it comes with confidence and playing time," Hurdle said. "It'll be one of the best things that happens in this month of September -- his playing time and the experience he's been able to gain."

Cervelli played a career-high 130 games and posted 3.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in 2015, his first season with the Pirates. He was limited to 101 games and 1.6 WAR in a '16 season interrupted by surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone. Both numbers took another hit this season as a concussion, inflammation in his left wrist and a sore quad limited him to 81 games and 0.9 WAR.

Glasnow set for relief outing: The Pirates still want to see Tyler Glasnow make another start this season, but his next appearance will come out of the bullpen. Glasnow is set to pitch in relief of left-hander Steven Brault on Wednesday night at PNC Park.

The outing will essentially be a "piggyback start" for Glasnow, who gave up five runs on four hits and six walks in 2 2/3 innings in Milwaukee last Wednesday. General manager Neal Huntington has stressed that the Pirates are not converting their former top prospect into a reliever.

"With two off-days and seven starters, it's a little bit of a challenge [to find innings] right now," Hurdle said. "We'll look for an opportunity to present itself, but we do want him to get the ball again. There was some good stuff to hunt."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.