PITTSBURGH — Andrew McCutchen was activated from the 10-day injured list by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday as pitching prospect Quinn Priester was added to the taxi squad ahead of his likely major league debut Monday.
McCutchen missed six games with right elbow inflammation since last playing July 5. Entering Sunday, the 36-year-old led the Pirates among qualified players with a .268 batting average in 74 games this season, his 15th in the major leagues.
McCutchen was the designated hitter and hit third in a series finale against San Francisco. Infielder Rodolfo Castro was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Priester, a 22-year-old right hander, arrived in Pittsburgh and appeared set to start Monday against Cleveland. Selected 18th overall by the Pirates in the 2019 amateur draft, he is 7-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 18 starts with Indianapolis this season.
“I typically get anxious for starts while getting prepared wherever I’ve been at,” Priester said. “This will be much the same, getting my body prepared, getting my mind prepared in my own way. Definitely anxious, but taking the next couple of days to take it all in. I don’t mind if it takes a long time because these are two days I’m never getting back. I definitely want to cherish the moment and appreciate all the people who helped me get here.”
After taking a comebacker off a calf in the first inning of a start with Indianapolis on Friday, Priester initially protested when told he would be pulled. That was before manager Miguel Pérez explained.
“He was like, ‘We’re not risking you going back out.’ I was like, ’Come on man what are you talking about?’” Priester said. “Then he ended up telling me that I was coming to the big leagues. That was a really special moment for it to happen in the dugout with all my teammates down there, so it was awesome.”
Priester said he hasn’t been informed whether he would return to Indianapolis after Monday.
“It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work and I’m really excited to be here,” Priester said. “I always thought I was going to be a professional baseball player, a big league baseball player. But then, as you’re growing up, you start to realize how hard that is. Then I came back around and realized, ‘Oh, I can actually do this.’
“Just worked really hard at it, kept getting better and now it’s a new chapter for me. I’m really excited to keep learning and doing things right.”