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Andrew McCutchen and Clint Hurdle discuss disabled list decision

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates placed Andrew McCutchen on the 15-day disabled list before tonight's game. Afterwards, Clint Hurdle explained the thought process behind how the team handled the injury.

"Going in, we had a timeline we were going to try to follow, [while being] respectful of giving Andrew time to work through an injury where there is not a lot of case history," Hurdle said. "He's a significant player for us, so there was a time we wanted to stretch it out and see what kind of progress could be made. Knowing there is a 10-day period that you can't retroactive all the days that are down. Would he be able to play by 11 days? 12 days? Then you start looking at risk versus reward. What he still has to accomplish on a return to recovery. He's got to face velocity, he's got to face spin, a lot of check swings, slides. We just got to a point where we felt best suited, he felt best suited, all of us in the conversation felt best suited in the conversation we had to make the move today."

For his part, McCutchen said it "sucks" to be placed on the disabled list, but it is ultimately in the best interest of the team. He expressed gaining some consolation from the rapid progress he's made, however.

"The thing is, the injury is so uncommon that in a sense it makes me feel okay with it," McCutchen said. "Because at least I know that I'm pretty much one of the only ones that could do something that I did. So I just hold my head high for that."

McCutchen joked that the team continuing to win in his absence shows that "they don't need me."

"It's the truth. It's not like I'm out and the season's over. We got guys that can step up and do their jobs."

During the time he's been injured, McCutchen has ramped up some of his pranks and antics in the dugout. Wednesday, he photobombed Pirates beat writer Rob Biertempfel during an interview on the MLB network. Friday night he grabbed a bat and volunteered to pinch-hit, causing Hurdle to laugh. And tonight he added some flair to the post-home run 'Yes, Yes, Yes" celebration.

"I'm really bored," McCutchen said. "[I have] a lot of time on my hands and a lot of energy. So whatever pops up, that's what I'm going to do. So whatever I think about, that what's going to happen. That's just where I'm at right now. ... [I'll] probably be doing something different tomorrow. That's basically what happens. I wake up and say, ‘Well, I can't play so what can I do?' I haven't quite figured that out yet."

Verlander injured

The Pirates knocked Justin Verlander around in the first inning and never looked back tonight. Verlander was removed from the game following the first inning due to tightness in his right shoulder. After the game, manager Brad Ausmus said that that the right-hander's shoulder was bothering him in the bullpen before the game.

"My gut was telling me that something was bothering him," Ausmus said. "When I went out to see him with the trainer he said there was no pain but the ball really wasn't coming out of his hand. ... Quite frankly, looking back, I almost wish I had taken him out when I went out [for the mound visit]."

Verlander will be evaluated tomorrow and have a MRI in Detroit.

"Obviously, I'm concerned," Verlander said. "You go to get an MRI, [and] it's never a good sign. Every other time I've gotten an MRI it was for a good reason [team physical]. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous, but I've never been through this before. Keep my hopes high and my fingers crossed. Hopefully it's nothing."