PITTSBURGH -- For the first time since his June 4 big league debut, Andrew McCutchen was out of the starting lineup on Wednesday for precautionary reasons after a run-in at first base Tuesday.
The collision happened at first base in the first inning when McCutchen was hit in the face by Chad Tracy's glove while running up the line. Tracy was catching third baseman Mark Reynolds' throw on the play. McCutchen remained in the game and finished 0-for-3.
With McCutchen out of Wednesday's starting lineup, Jeff Salazar took over in center and shortstop Ronny Cedeno hit leadoff. McCutchen was available to pinch-ht. Although the incident gave him a little headache, he felt all right.
"They just want to make sure everything's fine," McCutchen said. "Everything's fine, they just want me to get a day off just to be safe. I figure I'll be in there tomorrow, if not some time later tonight."
But manager John Russell figured this also worked into his plan of giving the rookie a day off, as the center fielder had started in 54 straight games. McCutchen has hit .292 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs this season, adding nine steals.
McCutchen's sitting created room for Salazar, who made his first start of the season. Although Salazar was hitting just .059 with one hit in 17 at-bats entering Wednesday, Russell thinks the lack of opportunities has contributed to the struggles.
"He hasn't had an opportunity to play much and it's going to start affecting him," Russell said. "Hopefully, giving him three or four at-bats tonight will help him a little bit with his timing. I think getting these at-bats should help him the next time he comes off the bench to maybe get a little more comfortable at the plate."
Wayne Staats is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.