Pina's sprained thumb may be season-ending

Pina's sprained thumb may be season-ending

MILWAUKEE -- With the baseball calendar running short, a painfully sprained ligament in Brewers catcher Manny Pina's left thumb has put the rest of his season in doubt.

Pina underwent an MRI scan Saturday that confirmed the sprain, which he suffered tagging out the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo at home plate in the 10th inning of Friday's loss to the Cubs at Miller Park.

"I felt something weird inside there; I felt and heard something. I knew something happened," Pina said. "I tried to catch the next inning, and the [pain] was so bad."

Asked if he thought he'd be able to play again in 2017, Pina said, "We'll see. If I can catch, I'll play. If it bothers me hitting, I don't worry too much. But if catching is fine, I'll play. … If it doesn't bother me catching, I'm going to play, because the position we are in. I want to try."

Pina was experimenting Sunday morning with thumb guards and padding to reduce the impact of baseballs hitting his glove. The Brewers have a day off Monday, and planned to re-evaluate Pina's availability on Tuesday before a six-game stretch to finish the regular season begins with a home series against the Reds.

It's Pina's defense that the Brewers would miss most. He has thrown out 33 percent of would-be basestealers this season, compared to Stephen Vogt's 0-for-24 before he threw out Kris Bryant at second base on Saturday.

With Pina sidelined, Vogt made a rare start Sunday against a left-hander, the Cubs' Jose Quintana. The Brewers also have right-handed-hitting catchers Jett Bandy and Andrew Susac on the roster, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell favored Vogt because he'd played the first three games of the series and knew Chicago hitters best.

"[Pina] is hurting right now. We'll evaluate it kind of as we go," Counsell said. "Obviously, we're running out of games. At this point, you just take it day by day. But he's struggling with it right now. … We're still hopeful he can contribute in some way. Because of where we're at, we'll work hard to try to make him available to contribute."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.