Pirates relievers Felipe Vazquez and Kyle Crick engaged in a clubhouse combat Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Right now Sports activities studies. Crick got here out of it requiring season-ending tendon surgical procedure in his proper index finger, the staff introduced. The membership additionally fined him and Vazquez.
“The habits exhibited by these two gamers final evening is unacceptable, inconsistent with the requirements anticipated of a Main League participant and won’t be tolerated by the group,” basic supervisor Neal Huntington said (through Nightengale).
This isn’t the primary trace of behind-the-scenes stress in what has degenerated into an terrible season for the Pirates. Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reported in mid-August that in-fighting had been all too frequent for the membership this 12 months. One more reliever, Keone Kela, has been a outstanding supply of stress for Pittsburgh – which has plummeted out of the NL playoff race because the season has gone on and now owns a horrid 63-81 document.
As with Kela, Crick has additionally been concerned in a number of dust-ups this season with members of his personal group. He beforehand feuded with bullpen coach Euclides Rojas over the alleged preferential therapy the latter gave Vazquez. Now, because of his obvious disdain for Vazquez, Crick received’t pitch once more till 2020. Whether or not he’ll take the mound once more as a Pirate is unclear, because the membership may try to maneuver him if it doesn’t consider he and Vazquez (a possible commerce chip in his personal proper) can coexist. Whereas Vazquez is among the many greatest relievers in baseball, Crick struggled to a 4.96 ERA/5.95 FIP and walked upward of six batters per 9 throughout 49 innings in 2019.
It additionally could also be honest to wonder if the friction within the Pirates’ clubhouse, to not point out their uninspired on-field efficiency, could have adverse ramifications for Huntington and-or supervisor Clint Hurdle. The franchise was a lot profitable beneath the pair just a few years again, evidenced by its postseason berths from 2013-15, however has fallen from grace since that three-year stretch. The bickering Pirates at the moment are on their solution to a fourth straight season with out a playoff look.