ST. LOUIS -- Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen chuckled Saturday at the thought he might miss the Pirates game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday with a sprained left wrist. But manager Clint Hurdle had the final word.
McCutchen did not play Sunday in the Pirates' 5-4 loss against the Cardinals, one day after he landed awkwardly on his glove while making a diving catch.
Hurdle said he did not talk to McCutchen until after he posted the lineup, allowing the center fielder no time to plea for a start. It was the fourth game McCutchen has not started this season. He missed three games in May, including one in St. Louis, while dealing with a stomach illness.
He received treatment on the wrist early Sunday afternoon but said he was OK.
As the son of a college basketball coach, Pirates seventh-round draft pick Jacob Stallings said he developed a lot of toughness as a kid in part because of things his dad, Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, said. Another part of it was what was being said about his dad.
"He's obviously in a job where everybody knows how his job performance is doing," Jacob Stallings said. "It was tough at times when his teams were struggling. I'd go to school, and people would talk about it and talk about the game if they lost the night before. I just didn't want to talk about it. ... As I got older, it got easier. And his teams got better. That made it easier."
That toughness is an asset behind the plate, where Stallings, now playing for the State College Spikes, is a defensive-minded catcher trying to improve his offense.
"My hitting was always kind of behind my defense," he said. "The hitting was something that I've really had to work at. ... As a catcher, defense is your most important thing. Anything you can give offensively is a bonus."
Stallings will work with some of the Pirates' top pitching prospects at State College, including 17-year-old phenom Luis Heredia and 19-year-old Clay Holmes.
He has experience catching top-level prospects. In four years at the University of North Carolina, he called games for a number of college pitchers who were selected in the early rounds of baseball's amateur draft.
And though his dad is a basketball coach, Stallings said he did not abandon the family trade by becoming a baseball player. The Stallings are a baseball family, and Kevin Stallings is the odd one out.
Jacob Stallings said he played basketball in high school, though, but he does not regret choosing hardball over the big orange one.
"My baseball abilities just surpassed my basketball ones," he said.
Pitcher Erik Bedard recorded his 1,000th career strikeout Sunday when Matt Holliday took strike three on a full-count pitch in the first inning.pirates
First Published July 2, 2012 12:00 AM