By Jason Shetler
According to MLB.com Pirates beat reporter Adam Berry, Chris Stewart is likely to have knee surgery, which he suggested could be career ending. He was put on the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday.
After being acquired by the Pirates from the New York Yankees prior to 2014, Stewart began to establish himself as one of the better reserve catchers in baseball. In his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, he posted a .341 on base percentage. Behind the plate, Stewart is regarded as a terrific pitch framer.
The 2016 season has been an unhealthy one for Stewart, as he’s battled knee problems for much of the year. He was placed on the 15-day DL on July 4th. The Pirates replaced him with Eric Fryer, who had been claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals the day before. In 34 games this season, Stewart had just a .319 OBP and threw out 27% of basestealers, which is right at league average.
During the month of August, Stewart rehabbed with the Altoona Curve and appeared to be healthy, but after rejoining the Pirates last week, the knee began bothering him again. Fortunately, the Pirates don’t have a ton of dollars invested in Stewart. Should he decide to retire, he’ll be owed only $1.4 million for next year.