CHICAGO -- Let the Seinfeld jokes begin. And freak injury ones, too.
The Pirates placed Kevin Newman on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a lacerated right middle finger. To take his spot on the roster, fellow infielder Kevin Kramer was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Newman was injured while helping hitting coaches Rick Eckstein and Jacob Cruz set up a portable pitching machine Wednesday. The Pirates take the machine with them on road trips.
"It's hard to explain," said Newman, who was wearing a large white bandage. "Machines are tricky. It's very fortunate."
Kramer had exactly one hit in each of Indianapolis’ six games this season prior to his recall. He was 6-for-26 (.231) with two RBIs and two walks.
The Pirates play the Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field. First pitch has been moved up an hour, to 7:35 p.m. ET, because of the threat of inclement weather.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a rather insignificant transaction. However, it will be interesting to see how Kramer responds to his second call-up to the major leagues after hitting just .135 in 21 games last season.
As far as the validity of Newman's injury, I have no idea. I haven't set up a pitching machine in at least 35 years.