LOS ANGELES -- Chris Archer was placed on the 10-day injured list with right thumb inflammation today by the Pirates, a day after being rocked for six runs in four innings in a loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Archer was examined by a hand specialist before Saturday night's game and Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said the right-hander should be able to resume throwing in a few days.
Tomcyzk also said Archer has been bothered by the thumb in his last two starts. He lost both outings with a 9.00 ERA and five strikeouts in nine innings after going 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his first three starts while striking out 24 in 18 innings.
Beginning Monday, the Pirates have three off days in an eight-day span. Thus, they will not need a fifth starter again until May 11, while Archer is eligible to be activated May 7. It seems likely they will go with a four-man rotation until Archer returns, though Clint Hurdle said the Pirates have yet to finalize a plan.
Reliever Michael Feliz was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. He had two saves, a 1.00 ERA and 12 strikeouts in nine innings over seven appearances for the Indians.
Archer becomes the 16th different Pirates player to be placed on the IL just 24 games into the season. Eleven are currently out of action.
In other injury news:
• Corey Dickerson (strained right shoulder) did not start his rehab assignment at Indianapolis tonight as planned after feeling tightness in his shoulder when throwing from 110 feet. He will rejoin the Pirates on Monday in Texas to be examined by the medical staff in advance of the two-game series with the Rangers that begins Tuesday night in Arlington.
• Lonnie Chisenhall (broken right hand) has had his rehab assignment stopped at Indianapolis because of tightness in his left calf. He will be examined by team doctors early next week in Pittsburgh. Chisenhall was limited to 29 games with the Indians last season because of injuries to both calves.
• Jacob Stallings (cervical neck strain) began a rehab assignment tonight at Indianapolis.
• Starling Marte (abdominal wall and rib contusion) continues to progress and the Pirates are optimistic he will be "game-ready in the near future," according to Tomczyk. No word on whether Marte will have a rehab assignment or return directly to the Pirates' lineup.
I'm not a doctor but my suspicion is the Pirates are taking advantage of the schedule to give Archer some extra time to work with pitching coach Ray Searage. Archer has had trouble commanding the slider, his best pitch, in his last two starts and will likely work on sharpening it.
Speaking of sliders, the reports are that Feliz's was excellent in the minor leagues. He needs that pitch to go along with his fastball if he is going to be effective in the majors.
The news on Dickerson was unexpected and it will be interesting to see how long his rehab assignment will be delayed. Meanwhile, it seemed only a matter of time before Chisenhall injured a calf considering his track record.
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