Game 67: Three catchers on roster … for now

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Story and video by Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner

PTR-Stallings03-032816The Pirates plan to carry three catchers on their active roster through this weekend. Manager Clint Hurdle said keeping Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings around provides insurance in case Francisco Cervelli encounters unexpected trouble after coming off the concussion DL. The fact that Diaz has been hitting well makes it easier to keep him as a bench guy — for now.

“Our goal is to get Francisco through the weekend and see where that takes us,” Hurdle said. “I’m not warm and fuzzy about carrying three catchers. I’ve said that all along. The bat plays, which helps with Elias being able to hit off the bench. However, it’s still another catcher who plays no other position and really challenges your versatility. We have a need for it this weekend, with two night games and a day game, I’m want to get Cervelli up and running. It’s important to play it through the weekend and see where we take it after that.”

>>> UPDATE 5:22 PM — Cubs rookie Ian Happ has hit five homers in his past six starts, including a grand slam on Tuesday against the Mets. Happ moved from Cleveland to Pittsburgh as a kid and graduated from Mt. Lebanon High. he was the Cubs’ first-round pick (ninth overall) in 2015.

>>> Friday, Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Cubs (32-33): Anthony Rizzo 3, Ian Happ 4, Kyle Schwarber 7, Addison Russell 6, Jason Heyward 9. Willson Contreras 2, Tommy La Stella 5, RHP Eddie Butler (3-2, 4.03) 1, Albert Almora Jr. 8

Pirates (30-36): Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 4, Gregory Polanco 9, David Freese 5, Josh Bell 3, Andrew McCutchen 8, Francisco Cervelli 2, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.13)

>>> Saturday, Cubs at Pirates, 8:15 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Fox. Radio: 93.7 FM.  Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (6-4, 4.68) Pirates: Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (6-4, 2.83)

>>> Sunday, Cubs at Pirates, 1:35 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Cubs: RHP John Lackey (4-7, 5.26) Pirates: Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (3-1, 2.90)

>>> Monday, Pirates at Brewers, 7:40 p.m., MIller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (4-6, 4.54) Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (3-2, 4.17)

>>> Tuesday, Pirates at Brewers, 7:40 p.m., Miller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-6, 5.61) Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (7-3, 4.91)

>>> Wednesday, Pirates at Brewers, 8:10 p.m., Miller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams () Brewers: RHP RHP Junior Guerra ()

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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