Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Kyle Crick likely has thrown his last pitch this season -- and all because the Pirates say he and teammate Felipe Vazquez were throwing punches.
Crick suffered a season-ending injury Monday night after getting into a “clubhouse altercation” with Vazquez.
The right-handed pitcher required surgery on his index finger and is unlikely to pitch in the season's final weeks after he says Vazquez, another reliever, started throwing punches at him ahead of Monday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
"One of those clubhouse altercations," Crick told reporters following Pittsburgh’s loss. "A lot of bickering back and forth. Punches were thrown. You kind of have to at some point stand up for yourself and start throwing back."
Crick added: “It’s one of those deals where it's unfortunate. There’s two losers in this deal. Nobody can win fighting a teammate. It's just an unfortunate deal."
It wasn’t immediately clear what the row was over but Crick said it was Vazquez who threw the first punch.
Vazquez did not speak to reporters after the game.
According to an ESPN report, Crick required surgery on his pitching hand to repair a tendon.
Both players were fined by the team for an undisclosed amount.
General Manager Neal Huntington slammed the incident as “unacceptable,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“The behavior exhibited by these two players last night is unacceptable, inconsistent with the standards expected of a Major League player and will not be tolerated by the organization,” his statement read.
This is the third altercation Crick was involved in this season. The other two involved bullpen coach Euclides Rojas and the other was a more typical melee, involving the Cincinnati Reds.