The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday that they have placed first baseman Ji-Man Choi on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.
Choi suffered the injury while running out a ground ball in Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. He was replaced by Colin Moran, who will likely see most of the action at first base in Choi’s absence.
Choi, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade last month, has been a solid addition to the Pirates’ lineup. He has hit .286/.375/.429 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 23 games with Pittsburgh.
He has also played excellent defense at first base, making several highlight-reel plays.
To fill Choi’s spot on the roster, the Pirates have recalled infielder Tucupita Marcano from Triple-A Indianapolis. Marcano, who was part of the return for Joe Musgrove in the offseason trade with the San Diego Padres, has been tearing it up in the minors this year.
He has hit .318/.382/.455 with six home runs and 40 RBIs in 86 games across three levels. He has also stolen 18 bases and played multiple positions.
Marcano made his major league debut with the Padres earlier this year, appearing in 25 games and hitting .182/.280/.205 with one RBI. He was optioned to Triple-A when the Pirates acquired him on July 30.
He will provide some versatility and speed off the bench for the Pirates, as well as some insurance in case of another injury.
The Pirates are currently in last place in the NL Central with a 50-90 record. They have lost four straight games and are 28 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.
They will try to snap their skid on Saturday night when they face the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mitch Keller will start for the Pirates against Alec Mills for the Cubs.
Final Thoughts: Pittsburgh Pirates Place Ji-Man Choi on Injured List
The Pittsburgh Pirates have suffered yet another setback in what has been a disappointing season. The loss of Ji-Man Choi, who has been a key contributor to the team’s offense and defense since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays, is certainly a blow.
The left-handed slugger has been hitting for a solid average and providing some power, while also playing excellent defense at first base.
In Choi’s absence, Colin Moran will likely see most of the action at first base. Moran, who has been primarily playing third base this season, is a capable replacement but does not possess the same defensive skills as Choi.
However, the Pirates will benefit from Moran’s ability to hit for power and drive in runs.
To fill Choi’s spot on the roster, the Pirates have recalled Tucupita Marcano from Triple-A Indianapolis. Marcano, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres in the offseason, has been tearing it up in the minors this year, hitting for average, power, and stealing bases.
While his major league debut earlier this season was not impressive, Marcano has the potential to provide a spark off the bench and some much-needed versatility and speed to the Pirates’ lineup.
The Pirates are in last place in the NL Central with a record of 50-90, so losing Choi is not likely to have a significant impact on their playoff chances.
However, his absence will be felt in the short term, and the Pirates will need to rely on other players to step up and fill the void.
Overall, the loss of Ji-Man Choi is a setback for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but they have some capable replacements and reinforcements in Tucupita Marcano.
As the team continues to rebuild, it will be important for them to develop their young talent and find ways to compete in the tough NL Central division.