In the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Manny Piña came left with a reported strained calf.
The injury came after Piña had reached first base and actually been holding the base for a couple of pitches. Piña and the first base coach then signaled for the head trainer to show that something was wrong.
It is not clear how Piña suffered the injury. The catcher reached base via walk. The broadcast booth hypothesized that the injury could have been the result of Piña rushing back to the bag after taking his lead as a runner.
Piña hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire offensively in the early portion of the season. The catcher was slashing .194/.265/.323 before heading into today’s game. The Pineapple Express’ value comes primarily behind the plate though, where Piña has caught almost half of the base stealers and works well with the pitching staff.
Tom Haudricourt is reporting that the Brewers will attempt to move forward Wednesday with just Jett Bandy. This will let the team assess Piña’s injury more thoroughly on the team’s off day Thursday. If the Crew does need to call on a catcher, Jacob Nottingham would be the likely choice as he’s the only other healthy catcher on the 40-man roster.
Nottingham is in his first season at AAA Colorado Springs after spending his first two seasons with the club at AA Biloxi. His bat didn’t do much to impress his first couple years with the organization, but his defense has improved dramatically. In just three games with the Sky Sox, Nottingham is slashing .333/.400/.556.
The other option would be Christian Bethancourt, the career journeyman catcher who signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. Since Bethancourt is not currently on the 40-man, the Brewers would have to make another move to clear space for the veteran. That decision would likely be based on Piña’s assessment Wednesday, and how far along Stephen Vogt is in his recovery from his injury.
Stats are courtesy Baseball Reference