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Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen suffered an apparent left leg injury Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays and was forced to leave the game, according to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
After the game, McCutchen delivered a positive update:
The 30-year-old veteran is currently hitting .289 with 23 home runs and 71 RBI on the heels of a somewhat disappointing 2016 campaign.
McCutchen hit .256 with 24 home runs and 79 RBI in 2016, which broke a five-year streak of All-Star appearances.
He was especially dominant at the plate every year from 2012 through 2015, hitting at least .292 with a minimum of 21 home runs, 83 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage in each of those campaigns.
McCutchen has been a durable player over the course of his career, but injuries were a bit of an issue last season.
He revealed in early June he had some swelling in his thumb, which may have contributed to his struggles at the plate.
With the exception of the 2014 season, in which he missed 16 games, McCutchen has sat out nine or fewer contests every season from 2010 through 2016.
McCutchen is a five-tool player when healthy, as he can hit for power, has great speed and plays Gold Glove-caliber defense in the outfield.
The former National League MVP’s defense took a hit last season, though, which resulted in him being moved from center field to right field.
The Pirates have excellent outfielders in Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte, but finding a replacement for McCutchen, if need be, will be challenging.
Provided McCutchen misses some time, it is likely that second-year player Adam Frazier will see additional action. While Frazier doesn’t provide McCutchen’s pop, he has been one of the hottest hitters in the National League since the All-Star break.
While the Bucs are fairly deep and versatile, McCutchen is their most complete player, and being without him for any period of time will be a major blow to their chances to catch the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.