Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen exited Thursday’s game against the Miami Marlins after experiencing “right thumb discomfort,” per the team

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Rodriguez Replaces McCutchen

Thursday, June 2

McCutchen went 0-for-3 on Thursday before leaving the game. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects confirmed Sean Rodriguez took McCutchen’s spot in the lineup.

In addition to the potential hazards that roaming the outfield and running toward the wall present, McCutchen has been a magnet for being hit by pitches when he steps into the batter’s box. Pitchers have to be aggressive in going after a tremendous hitter such as McCutchen.

Despite being plucked rather often—12 times in 2015—there’s no denying McCutchen’s toughness and durability, as he’s averaged approximately 155 games played over the prior six seasons.

Injuries haven’t really hampered the 29-year-old at any point in his career, so Pittsburgh fans ought not to worry too much about his long-term future.

McCutchen is nevertheless the face of the Pirates franchise and can’t be lost for any significant stretch of time if the club hopes to build on the recent success it has found. Perhaps the Pirates can rally around McCutchen’s absence and play inspired baseball in the short term.

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