The Pittsburgh Pirates are likely to be without the reigning National League Most Valuable Player for at least three weeks.
Andrew McCutchen is headed to the disabled list due to a serious oblique muscle injury, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday. According to the newspaper, McCutchen might be out for a month.
The injured occurred Sunday while McCutchen was swinging at a pitch that resulted in an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. He left the game, and X-rays were negative, leading McCutchen to say he thought the injury was minor.
On Saturday, McCutchen was drilled in the back by a pitch from Arizona's Randall Delgado. The plunking apparently was in retaliation for the Pirates hitting Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt with a pitch that broke his left hand Friday, and Delgado was immediately ejected.
McCutchen said he thought Sunday's injury was unrelated to the Saturday incident. He said he received treatment for his back Sunday morning, and he went through his warmups "fine, no issues. It wasn't a major issue besides being bruised."
McCutchen, 27, is hitting .311 with a .411 on-base percentage, a .536 slugging percentage, 17 homers, 67 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 109 games.
The Pirates might replace him on the roster by activating outfielder Starling Marte from the disabled list. Marte, who sustained a concussion July 21, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.