Aug 7, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) looks on at the batting cage before playing the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park. 
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew McCutchen was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Blue Jays early due to discomfort in his knee.

During the third inning, McCutchen hit a double to give the Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead over Toronto. Not long after, he appeared to experience some discomfort in his left knee while leading off of second base. You can see McCutchen wincing below.

McCutchen would limp off the field and was replaced by Starling Marte. For now, the Pirates are calling it “patella-femoral discomfort.”

After a disappointing season a year ago, McCutchen has bounced back to hit .287/.381/.516 with 23 home runs, 70 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 112 games this season. With the Pirates entering play on Friday just three games back of the NL Central Division lead, it goes without saying losing McCutchen for any length of time would hinder their chances of making a push for the playoffs.

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25 SLIDES
Most anticipated second half call-ups in MLB


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title: ‘Chance Adams, SP, Yankees’,
description: ‘

Adams has never had any struggles in the minors since being drafted in the fifth round in 2015 out of Dallas Baptist University. He’s 10-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 17 starts between Double- and Triple-A this season, and could provide a spark late in the season for the Yanks.

Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports Images


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{
src: ‘/media/b/1/b1d935c7eae5ba4fe09c75599d44c70bc9eb7c07/xl/2.jpg’,
title: ‘Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves’,
description: ‘

Brandon Phillips has been a fine placeholder for Albies this season, but the 20-year-old prospect is nearly ready. He’s hitting .282-7-37 with 21 stolen bases in 78 games against older competition at Triple-A Gwinnett.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


}
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src: ‘/media/7/b/7b48f85c6a29ede985ae0d3dd3ea76b60c755840/xl/4.jpg’,
title: ‘Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals’,
description: ‘

St. Louis has received inconsistent player out of their entire outfield this season. Bader is a potential solution, hitting .301-17-43 in 334 plate appearances at Triple-A Memphis. The former third-round pick hit 19 home runs last season.

Scott Rovak / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Willie Calhoun, 2B, Dodgers ‘,
description: ‘

LA doesn’t have anywhere for Calhoun to play, but he could still provide a potential power boost. He’s hitting .301-19-58 in 79 games at hitter-friendly Triple-A Oklahoma City after hitting 27 home runs at Double-A Tulsa last season.

Rick Scuteri / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Dylan Cozens, OF, Phillies’,
description: ‘

Cozens hit 40 home runs at Double-A Reading last year, and he’s shown similar player at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season with 21 home runs in 85 games. Strikeouts are a major concern for the 6-6 outfielder, as he’s fanned 110 times in 85 games.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox’,
description: ‘

Third base has been a black hole for the Red Sox this season, with no viable answer. Devers is clearly the long-term solution, and he could get an opportunity down the stretch as the Red Sox try to make the playoffs. He’s hitting .300-18-56 with a .944 OPS at age 20 for Double-A Portland.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Tom Eshelman, SP, Phillies’,
description: ‘

Eshelman has really helped himself with a great year between Double- and Triple-A, going 10-2 with a 2.27 ERA and only 14 walks in 107 innings. While he profiles as just a fifth starter, Eshelman has the polish to help a needy Phillies squad immediately.

Cliff Welch / Baseball America


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title: ‘Jack Flaherty, SP, Cardinals’,
description: ‘

Flaherty has been one of the biggest stories of the minor league season. He’s 8-3 with a 2.30 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning in 94 innings between Double- and Triple-A. Alongside Luke Weaver and Alex Reyes, the long-term future of the Cardinals rotation looks terrific.

Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Stephen Gonsalves, SP, Twins’,
description: ‘

Gonsalves’ season got off to a late start due to shoulder soreness, but he’s made up for lost time. The lefty is 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in nine starts. His impressive 6.20 K/BB ratio shows his great polish.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Zach Granite, OF, Twins’,
description: ‘

Granite looked like a potential fifth outfielder coming into this season, but his great play at Triple-A Rochester shows potential for much more. He’s hitting a league-high .361, adding 18 stolen bases in 64 games. Granite is a contact hitter with great leadoff skills, showing a 22/27 BB/K this season.

Jordan Johnson / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Brent Honeywell, SP, Rays’,
description: ‘

It hasn’t been a flawless year for Honeywell, who sports a 4.19 ERA between Double- and Triple-A, but he remains an elite pitching prospect. He continues to flash great control and has a dominant 11.6 K/9.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies’,
description: ‘

Hoskins continues to increase his stock in the minors with elite stats. He’s hitting .289-20-66 in 88 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Hoskins has also made huge progress with his plate discipline, posting a 47/53 BB/K. It seems likely Hoskins will start at first base over Tommy Joseph in the future. 

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Carson Kelly, C, Cardinals’,
description: ‘

A converted third baseman, Kelly has developed well behind the plate and can hold his own with the bat. Kelly is hitting .281-8-36 with an .815 OPS at Triple-A Memphis this season. Yadier Molina’s contract extension clouds his status with the Cardinals organization, but Kelly should be up later in the year, regardless.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Scott Kingery, 2B, Phillies’,
description: ‘

A former second-round pick, Kingery has been one of the biggest breakouts of the 2017 minor league season. He’s hitting .312-22-52 with 23 stolen bases in only 81 games between Double- and Triple-A. The skillset is starting to resemble a former Phillies second baseman, Chase Utley.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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title: ‘Tyler Mahle, SP, Reds’,
description: ‘

Arguably the best performing pitcher in the minors this season, Mahle has a 1.62 ERA in 98 innings between Double- and Triple-A this season. He’s taken his great control to another level, allowing only 1.7 BB/9 and a dominant 9.4 K/9.

MiLB.com


}
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{
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title: ‘Ryan McMahon, 1B, Rockies’,
description: ‘

A 2013 second-round pick out of high school, McMahon has rebounded from a sub-par 2016 season to emerge as a top prospect again. He’s hitting .353-14-61 with 11 steals in 81 games between Double- and Triple-A. Drafted as a third baseman, McMahon has played first base and second base, as well.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


}
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{
src: ‘/media/b/8/b816109ac3c312c7f6722afd4d968347508fffd6/xl/14.jpg’,
title: ‘Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates’,
description: ‘

It’s been a forgettable year for Meadows, who is currently out with a hamstring injury. The former first-round pick was hitting just .248-4-35 at Triple-A Indianapolis before his injury, but he could still get a look in September.

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
src: ‘/media/2/6/26267adeea099460b17d89c2bd1440ae03ae6f23/xl/17.jpg’,
title: ‘Yoan Moncada, 2B, White Sox’,
description: ‘

The best prospect in baseball, Moncada is hitting .278-11-32 with 16 steals in 72 games at Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox would like to see Moncada lower his strikeout rate, with 92 strikeouts this season, but his promotion to the majors is inevitable for a team that will be sellers at the trade deadline.

Rick Scuteri / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
src: ‘/media/8/f/8fad0d33b93eff49e0673e8233b280648e4d90b0/xl/20.jpg’,
title: ‘Tyler O’Neill, OF, Mariners’,
description: ‘

Seattle has been happy to see breakout years from Ben Gamel and Mitch Haniger in the majors, and O’Neill could complete an impressive long-term outfield. O’Neill’s strikeout rate has comeback to bite him at Triple-A Tacoma this season, fanning 97 times in 352 plate appearances and hitting just .238, but O’Neill has 14 home runs and nine stolen bases. He hit 32 homers in 2015 and 24 home runs last season at lower levels.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


}
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{
src: “http://www.yardbarker.com/media/d/9/d92208d4a6252263fd6b9653d85a7ddf3f906b75/xl/20.jpg”,
title: ‘Amed Rosario, SS, Mets’,
description: ‘

Mets fans have been screaming for Rosario’s arrival, and it should finally come soon. He’s an excellent leadoff prospect, hitting .327-7-52 with 16 stolen bases at hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas this season. Rosario hit .324 between High-A and Double-A last season.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
src: ‘/media/3/a/3a64c77ff53bc7217a575ab5e67e995166c1310d/xl/21.jpg’,
title: ‘Lucas Sims, SP, Braves’,
description: ‘

Sims sometimes gets lost in a farm system loaded with pitching, but the 2012 first-round pick is certainly notable. He’s rebounded from struggles at Triple-A last season, posting a 3.98 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning in 17 starts at Gwinnett. His struggles keeping the ball in the park are a concern.

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
src: ‘/media/f/0/f0e9504a5a982f98b946ba0b3da50f9bb13fe7b4/xl/23.jpg’,
title: ‘Chance Sisco, C, Orioles’,
description: ‘

The Orioles added Welington Castillo as a placeholder for Sisco this year, but it will soon be Sisco’s time. He’s hitting .276-3-31 in 66 games at Triple-A Norfolk. With Castillo’s pending free agency, Sisco will likely find some starts down the stretch.

Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports Images


}
,
{
src: ‘/media/f/1/f141f5d54a957d7a57d22dd7e54ccfa2b5c45b29/xl/22.jpg’,
title: ‘Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets’,
description: ‘

The Mets are nearly in 2018 mode, and Smith is likely to be their Opening Day first baseman. The former first-round pick is hitting a robust .330-12-58 in 87 games at hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas, while current regular first baseman Lucas Duda could be moved at the trade deadline.

Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports Images


}
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title: ‘Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers’,
description: ‘

Verdugo will have a tough time finding playing time on a loaded LA roster, but he’s an interesting prospect. He’s become an on-base machine at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, hitting .346-3-42 with 35/32 BB/K in 79 games, good for a .416 on-base percentage.

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images


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