Without McCutchen, Pirates lineup adjusts

Without McCutchen, Pirates lineup adjusts

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates center fielder and leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen was not in the lineup against the Brewers on Monday and remains day-to-day after suffering a mild sprain of his right AC joint Sunday.

McCutchen hurt the shoulder making a diving catch on a fly ball by the Astros' Pedro Feliz in the eighth inning of the 9-0 win.

"It feels better, feels a little better," McCutchen said. "Still tender, still a little sore, but I'm able to move it around and stuff. Still a little tender, and just got to give it some time."

Jose Tabata led off and made his first Major League start in center, Lastings Milledge batted third and moved to left, and Ryan Church hit seventh and started in right.

Pirates manager John Russell said the team will monitor the situation every day, noting that it's possible McCutchen could come in Tuesday and take batting practice. It all depends on the soreness in McCutchen's shoulder, which the team hopes will subside in the coming days and not be a lingering issue. All tests have come back negative.

"Having Jose here gives us a very good center-field option," Russell said. "He's played a lot of center field. He covers a lot of ground, so we feel like he can step in and do a nice job for us. Our bench, at this point, they'll have to help pick us up a little bit. But Church has been swinging the bat better of late, so hopefully we won't miss a lot.

"You can't replace Andrew, obviously, but we've been doing some pretty good things lately, and hopefully the guys will rally behind each other, and we'll continue to do that."

Depending on how much time McCutchen misses, the view from the dugout for an entire game may take some getting used to. Since his Major League debut on June 4, 2009, McCutchen had missed just two games prior to Monday. The 198 games he has played since putting on a Pirates uniform is more than any Major League outfielder during that span.

"I just want to go out there. I want to be out with the team, helping them, but there's nothing you can do about that," McCutchen said. "All you can do is just handle what's in front of you. Everything else is pretty much inevitable, so I'll just go out and do what I can to still help the team. I can watch the game and still help the team as well -- things I can be able to watch. I can see things that people may not be able to see, because they're playing defense. So something like that."