After a week of will-he-or-won't-he, the Pittsburgh Pirates officially placed star outfielder Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list Monday with a fractured rib. But the news isn't all bad in Pittsburgh: McCutchen's DL stint is retroactive to Aug. 4, meaning the reigning NL MVP could be back in uniform by the middle of next week.
No matter how long he's gone, losing McCutchen is big for the Pirates, as he's a do-everything talent who had thrust himself back into the NL MVP discussion with a hot summer. He's hitting .311/.411/.536 this season with 17 homers and 67 RBIs, and at the time of his injury, was leading all NL hitters in batting average, slugging percentage and RBIs since June 1.
McCutchen last suited up on Aug. 3, when he left the Pirates' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after hitting a sac fly. He was drilled by a pitch in the back by the D-backs the previous game, in a bit of revenge for the Pirates hitting and injuring Paul Goldschmidt.
It has since been decided that McCutchen's injury wasn't caused by getting hit, but it's heck of a coincidence. Even more of a coincidence when you consider that McCutchen has been extremely durable throughout his career and this is his first time on the disabled list.
The Pirates are 3-3 the past week without McCutchen in the lineup, but they're coming up against a tough stretch. Their next seven games are against first-place teams — four against the Detroit Tigers then three against the Washington Nationals.
At the moment, the Pirates are owners of the NL's second wild card, with a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants. Pittsburgh (62-55) is also in third place in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -