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08/18/08 4:24 PM ET

Mientkiewicz placed on bereavement list

Utilityman leaves to be at wife's side at hospital on Monday

PITTSBURGH -- Doug Mientkiewicz has temporarily left the team to be with his wife, Jodi, who had heart surgery at Allegheny General Hospital on Monday. She had been admitted to the hospital late last week.

The club put Mientkiewicz on the bereavement list on Monday, making the utility player eligible to come off Friday at the earliest. He is expected to stay with his wife, though, for as long as is necessary.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Doug and his wife, Jodi," said manager John Russell, a close family friend of the Mientkiewicz's. "Hopefully everything goes well."

Outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Mientkiewicz's spot on the 25-man roster. Morgan has been the hottest hitter for Triple-A Indianapolis as of late, as he has posted a .472 batting average through the Indians' last 15 games. During that span, Morgan has also scored 14 times, driven in 16 and stolen 12 bases. He stole five bases in Friday's game alone.

Morgan will join the team in St. Louis on Tuesday as the Pirates open up a two-game series against the Cardinals. This will mark Morgan's third stint with the big league club this season.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.