NHL Pirates

Missing McCutchen

There is no question that Andrew McCutchen has been the heart and sole of the Pittsburgh Pirates since he made his debut in 2009, and there is no doubt he will be the heart and sole of the Pittsburgh Pirates until the last day he puts on a Pirates uniform. Anyone who even remotely follows the game of baseball understands that without McCutchen, the Pirates probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and without McCutchen, the Pirates might still be Major League Baseball’s most irrelevant franchise.

Unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans, McCutchen’s production has been very limited this season thus far. Yes, we all know that he still might be getting used to hitting in the two hole and what not, but as they say, numbers never lie. McCutchen is currently hitting .239, which, if he were to finish the season at this low number, it would be .020 points below his career low which was .259 during his rookie campaign back in 2009. This is just an unacceptable number for a franchise player to be producing. Along with the .239 average, ‘Cutch has 12 home runs, which is very respectable, although if it were not for a few multi home run games he would still be in the single digits, and 32 run’s batted in, which is middle of the road for a guy of his caliber.

Not only are his batting average and RBI’s low, McCutchen has seven stealing attempts, and he has gotten caught stealing five of those seven times. The On Base Percentage is sitting at another career low for the Perennial All-Star while he sits at a whopping .312 OBP. It is not even like he has a somewhat low On Base Percentage but he steals hundreds of bases a year. When Cutch gets on base, he is usually stuck on that base until someone advances him. He has a very soft .312 On Base Percentage, which needs to change if his On  Base Percentage is going to stay this low.

Clearly, the Pittsburgh Pirates are missing the real Andrew McCutchen. I do not believe this is going to last the entire season. McCutchen has way too much talent as a baseball player to end the season with numbers this low, and he knows it. He is a five tool player and everyone in the baseball community knows that McCutchen is still the star of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Fortunately, it is still somewhat early in the season, and we are only turning the calendar to July, which historically is one of his best, if not the best, month of his career. Last year on the 2015 campaign, Cutch hit about .400 in the month of July. It is only a matter of time until ‘Cutch becomes ‘Cutch again.

Until then, the Pirates will continue to ride the coat tails of Gregory Polanco, who is having an All-Star caliber year, and is breaking out as one of the top ten outfielders in the entire MLB, along with fellow teammates Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte.

Only time will tell if Andrew McCutchen will actually get back to Andrew McCutchen form, but signs are still pointing up due to the history he has with the month of July.

Hunter Stiehler

GZ Sports Report Writer

Twitter: @hunter_stiehler

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