Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: What’s up with Manny Pina’s thumb?

Matthew Dewoskin
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: Catcher Manny Pina
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 21: Catcher Manny Pina /
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Milwaukee Brewers catcher Manny Pina has already missed time in September with a sprained hip. However his 2017 campaign is likely at an end thanks to a sprained thumb.

Brewers catcher Manny Pina suffered the injury on Thursday night against the Chicago Cubs during a tag play in the 10th inning. Second baseman Eric Sogard tagged out Leonys Martin and then threw home to Pina. ‘Pineapple’ was able to get the glove on Anthony Rizzo before after en route to a rare 4-2 double play. Rizzo slid in hard, but fairly, and appeared to catch Pina on the thumb with his left leg. Pina shook his hand out after the play, and was diagnosed with a sprained ligament.

Pina didn’t appear in any of the three remaining games against the Cubs. Stephen Vogt and Jett Bandy filled in, and now it appears as if they may have to continue to fill in for the remaining games. It was reported that Pina experimented with pads and guards to ease the pressure on his thumb, but it’s unlikely he’ll see the field again this year. Vogt and Bandy will continue to share most of the work behind the dish for the Milwaukee Brewers while Pina recovers.

How did Pina’s season start?

Originally, ‘Pineapple’ wasn’t expected to make the team. It was widely believed that Jett Bandy and Andrew Susac would share the catching duties for the Milwaukee Brewers during Spring Training. Pina won a share of the job with a fantastic spring and his success carried over into the season.

How good has Pina really been?

More than adequate! After a Major League career that was little more than a few cups of coffee, Pina has proven himself as a quality backstop. In 107 games, Pina slashed .279/.327/.424, and also did well defensively and handling pitchers. He caught 21 of 38 would be base stealers, and appeared to build a rapport with almost every pitcher he worked with.

Will Pina start next year?

It’s hard to say. The Milwaukee Brewers have the whole off season to make a decision on the catcher position. It’s very likely that Pina returns to the Major League roster next season, but Stephen Vogt will also come back. The lefty/righty combination of Vogt and Pina could end up in a straight platoon. A lefty/right split of the catching duties would leave ‘Pineapple’ on the bench against most righties.

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Manny Pina was and is a key member of the Milwaukee Brewers roster. From his clubhouse presence to his work behind the dish, Pina proved that he belongs on a Major League roster. However, with his current thumb injury, he’s unlikely to see the field again until 2018.

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