Pittsburgh Pirates

McCutchen is talking like his days are numbered in Pittsburgh

I was listening to Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast yesterday and he had an interview with Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, who sounds like he is completely miffed that he is moving to RF this season.

McCutchen, who is coming off of a disappointing 2016 campaign, is entering his age 30 season with a relatively team friendly contract. He is set to make $14 million this year and there is a team option at $14.75 million for next season. With his diminished skill set, especially defensively, the Pirates have decided to move him to RF and could ship him out of town before the trade deadline.

According to Baseball Reference (via Fielding Bible) Marte is clearly the superior defensive outfielder when manning CF. Marte was -2 when it came to defensive runs saved (DRS), which is just below the league average for center fielders.

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Gregory Polanco by Mike McBride

Conversely, McCutchen -28 in DRS when playing center, which is 23 runs below the league average.

With super OF prospect Austin Meadows ready to go in the minors, Starling Marte under team control through 2021 and Gregory Polanco under team control through 2023, it seems that McCutchen is the odd man out in the Pirates outfield. A number of rumors were swirling this offseason, but look for McCutchen to be wearing a different uniform by the July trade deadline.

NL Central Update from the Blogosphere: A roster shake-up looms in Pittsburgh, the Reds need 2017 for 2018 and Molina looks for a new deal in St. Louis

Chicago Cubs: John Arguello (@CubsDen) of The Cubs Den released an article detailing how Charlie Blackmon could potentially fit into the 2017 lineup if the Rockies and Cubs were able to reach an agreement on a trade. Arguello surmises that Blackmon could fit into a platoon Alberto Almora or even become the full-time centerfield option for Joe Maddon. He is a hit first, play defense late type of guy. It is worth monitoring the outfield situation in Chicago with the Dexter Fowler likely out of town to cash in after a solid 2016.

St. Louis Cardinals: Brian Walton (@B_Walton) of The Cardinal Nation Blog expresses his concern over recent reports surrounding the future of Yadier Molina’s contract situation. Molina’s agent Melvin Roman, who has his client signed through 2017 with a mutual option for 2018, shared that he would like to approach the organization about Molina’s contract prior to the start of the 2017 season. The objective is to keep the 34 year old catcher in St. Louis for the rest of his career, but the threat of Molina departing after the 2017 is legitimate.

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Yadier Molina by Dave Herholz

Walton laments the thought of Molina finishing his career elsewhere, but understands it may not be prudent to give an aging catcher a final long-term team. However, Molina (as Walton points out) appeared in more games than ever last season (147) and with a manager who is a former catcher in Matheny, the trust between the two will likely weigh heavily in determining the outcome. While a resolution is not expected in the coming days, Walton points out that this is a situation to monitor going forward.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Bucco Blog reflected on Ken Rosenthal’s report that the Pirates are listening to offers on a number of players, including Josh Harrison. After signing Harrison to a four year extension after his breakout 2014 season, Harrison has been just above league average. With $17.5 million due over the next two seasons, Sawchik believes it will be difficult to find a buyer.

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Josh Harrison by Keith Allison

On Andrew McCutchen, Sawchik conversed with Mike Petriello via Twitter to learn more about how McCutchen would fit into RF (as Buster Olney has suggested). Sawchik believes that despite McCutchen fading defensive metrics, that the move could actually help the 30 year old outfielder who moves better to his right than his left.

It remains to be seen whether or not McCutchen will be traded, but we at BoT feel that it would be selling low on a player that is poised for a bounce back season.

Milwaukee Brewers: Travis Sarandos (@travis_mke) of Disciples of Uecker (I love the name) published an article yesterday detailing the Brewers upcoming decision on whether or not to tender catcher Martin Maldonado. Maldonado, 30, became the primary backstop for the Brewers after the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Sarandos cites MLBTR’s prediction that Maldonado will probably receive $1.6 million. For the money, despite not being the best long-term option for the club, Sarandos believes it is worth the money to keep him around as a “serviceable backup.”

Cincinnati Reds: Jason Linden (@jasonlinden) of Redleg Nation believes that the 2017 matters for the Reds. Linden points to a plethora of middle infielders that need playing time rather than the aging Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart. Linden also cites a number of starting pitchers (eight) that should be competing for five starting rotation spots. Jesse Winker, a top-tier outfield prospect, should also be getting a legitimate shot at regular playing time to prepare him for the everyday duty in the 2018 season.

For Linden, 2017 matters. Evaluating and deciding on the  the meaningful pieces for 2018 must occur at the Big League level in 2017.

 

 

 

 

NL Rookie Report: Glasnow struggles, Story makes history

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Pirates sent rookie Tyler Glasnow to the hill against the Phillies for his second career start. The 6’8″, 22-year-old rookie struggled, allowing four hits, three walks and maybe of utmost concern, five stolen bases. Glasnow was pulled in the top of the 4th after allowing the first two runners to reach base and with a pitch count nearing 80. Although the rookie had only allowed one earned run, the reputation of not having the best control has reared it’s ugly head in the Bigs. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pirates stick with Glasnow in the rotation going forward as they are in the midst of trying to catch a playoff spot.

In Colorado, fellow NL rookie Trevor Story mashed his 25th home run, breaking the NL rookie record for home runs in a season by a short stop. The record had been held by former Rockies Troy Tulowitzki, who hit 24 home runs in  2007.

Story burst on to the scene this season, catching many across the country by surprise with his ten home run outburst in the month of April. As the Rockies look to unload more of their higher priced players (Carlos Gonzalez, 16.4 million or Jorge De La Rosa, 12.5 million) at the deadline, Story has been a great sight for the home town fans. With some talented pitchers in the minors, Story could be a focal point that of the Rockies rebuilding process.

Morning Six Pack: Piscotty paves the way for Cards comeback, Liriano deals

Two Beers: Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals: Piscotty stepped to the plate with the Cardinals trailing 5 to 2 in the bottom of the eighth and blasted a three run homer which capped an epic four run inning. The Cards went on to win the game when…

One Beer: Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals: Diaz had a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, plating Tommy Pham and sending the Cardinal faithful home happy. The Cards have won seven of their last ten and now trail the Cubs by 6.5 in the NL Central.

One Beer: Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates: FINALLY! Liriano looked like a front-line starter last night against the Brewers in their 5 to 3 win in PNC Park. Liriano went 6.1 in the winning effort, striking out 13 Brewers along the way without any walks. The Pirates could really use Liriano down the stretch, as they sit just three games back of the second wild card spot.

One Beer: Dustrin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox: Pedroia was 5 for 5 last night with three runs scored in Boston’s 13 to 2 win over Minnesota.  Pedroia’s average is now .304 on the year and the team stands alone in first place in the AL East.

One Beer: Mark Reynolds, Colorado Rockies: With the Rockies leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Mark Reynolds unloaded on delivery from Braves reliever Hunter Cervenka. The ball traveled an estimated 484 feet and is the second longest home run of the year. The Rockies took the game from the Braves, 7 to 3. The ten year pro is also hitting a modest .277, which is 40 points over his career average.

Other scores from Thursday:

Marlins 9 @ Phillies 3

Dodgers 6 @ Nationals 3

Orioles 4 @ Yankees 1

Tigers 2 @ White Sox 1 (7 innings)

Rays 7 @ A’s 3