Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call: Building a case for MVP


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.

His name is Andrew McCutchen, and he may just be the 2015 NL MVP

Andrew McCutchen had another fantastic outing last night in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins last night. Going 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. With his team owning the second-best record in the National League and on a bullet-like trajectory for the playoffs, it’s hard to consider him anything but the front-runner for the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player. Although each season is different, McCutchen’s numbers are already eerily similar to the performance he put up in his MVP 2013 season.

2012 ★15767359310719429631962070132.327.400.553.953AS,MVP-3,GG,SS
2013 ★1576745839718538521842778101.317.404.508.911AS,MVP-1,SS
2014 ★1466485488917238625831884115.314.410.542.952AS,MVP-3,SS
2015 ★12253044373133323208566899.300.400.521.921AS

As we have seen in the past, voters are very reluctant to hand out the MVP hardware to any player that does not make the playoffs. This works in McCutchen’s favor, as Paul Goldschmidt will not make the playoffs, and the jury is still out on the San Francisco Giants and Buster Posey. Those two, in addition to Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, represent McCutchen’s biggest competition to taking home the award. In case you were wondering, the last MVP given to a player on a non-playoff team was the 2003 version of Alex Rodriguez, whose Texas Rangers finished in 4th place in the division. Looking back at that season, A-Rod’s numbers may have been too good to ignore. Of Cutch’s competition this year, only Harper has numbers that truly approach that status, as he leads the NL in not only home runs, but on-base percentage and slugging as well.

Still, with McCutchen being the cog that drives the second-best team in the National League, he has to be considered the co-favorite with Harper at the very least.

Give it up for Locke everybody

Christmas came early for Jeff Locke in the form of a six-run second inning that stoked him to a 7-1 lead. That was temporary as he allowed the Marlins to get a run right back. After that Locke would not allow another run. With the big lead early it was imperative that Locke go deep into the game to give the bullpen some much-needed rest. He did just that, going for seven innings. Locke was as efficient as he could be, taking 95 pitches to get through his outing. From there, it was Joe Blanton doing Joe Blanton things with two scoreless innings.

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As it has become clear that the back end of the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation is a weak spot, the ask for Locke and Charlie Morton has shifted. Now more than ever, those two must become innings-eaters. Clint Hurdle will live with these two – and to a lesser extent J.A. Happ – giving up some runs as long as they can last deeper into games. Locke proved that he can do that. Obviously, it will remain to be seen if he can string a few of these types of outings together.

Pirates talk on the web

The Pirates minor-league system was dealt a blow when it was announced that shortstop Cole Tucker would be sidelined 10-12 months following shoulder surgery.

Yeah, I would say these guys are loose:

Next: Polanco Mixing hype with Performance