ST. LOUIS -- Channeling "Cool Hand Luke" in discussing Starling Marte's sore right side early Sunday morning, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle essentially said, "What we have here is failure to communicate." Within an hour, however, language barriers and Marte's own unfamiliarity with injuries were overcome to one clear conclusion: The rookie outfielder is being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. Taking his place on the roster, in left field, atop the lineup is Jose Tabata, who was recalled from his seven-week stint in Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Bucs will likely make another roster move following Sunday's series finale with the Cardinals. Jordy Mercer could go either on paternity leave (for Monday's birth of his first child) or the disabled list, if the right-forearm bruise from being hit by a pitch Saturday is deemed serious enough. Either way, that could be the opening for reliever Chad Qualls' Monday return from the bereavement list. Marte, pulled from Saturday's game after 5 1/2 innings with discomfort in his right side, spent the morning with heavy bandaging across his torso. "We're having a hard time communicating pain and discomfort, because he's never really been hurt before. He's having it looked at now," Hurdle said early in the morning. "We did get to an understanding about one thing -- he is more sore today than he was [Saturday]." In 23 games since his July 26 Major League debut, Marte has hit .253 with an on-base percentage of .287. Tabata, less than two months older than Marte despite his extensive big league experience, hit .230 in 72 games prior to being optioned to Triple-A on July 2, with an on-base percentage of .295.