Pittsburgh Pirates: Monday Minute Kang, Hutchison, Nova
On some Mondays, Rum Bunter will take a look at a popular topic on the Pittsburgh Pirates and give some thoughts on it in a quick article.
This week’s Monday minute will look at multiple players. First, we will look at the resurgence of Jung Ho Kang. Second we will take a quick look at the Drew Hutchison‘s first start as a Pittsburgh Pirates. Lastly, and interesting trade idea that regards Ivan Nova?
The Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman has had two stints on the disabled list this season. The first was at the beginning of the year while recovering from his injury. The second stint was in mid-August when he was having a shoulder issues. Both times he has come off the disabled list Kang as been a huge spark for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Most recently he has really torn it up. He has played in seven games since returning and is hitting a robust .522, with four homers, and ten runs batted in.
What has led to this? Well through all of July we saw Kang really struggle, he batted under .200 for the whole month. Kang did not have a typical off-season. He spent the winter months rehabbing and getting his knee back into shape. When it came to the mid-season point Kang started to breakdown. Although his knee was fine, the rest of his body started to wear out. Kang was able to regain a lot of his strength and conditioning over his last injury stint. Kang is returning to form that we expect from him. Look for him to continue this in 2017, as he will have a true off-season to prepare.
Hutchison will be forever linked to a very controversial trade. The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him for Francisco Liriano, and prospects Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez. Hutchison made his début this past Saturday and looked good in his first three innings. However, the wheels came off in the fourth innings as he was stung for four earned runs in the fourth (lots of fours). What is might be the best outlook for Hutchison going forward? Well Hutchison has pitched in part of four season so far and his career earned run average is 4.96. It seems that Hutchison may not make it in this league as a starter.
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However, as his most recent start suggest Hutchison struggles later into games. The former Blue Jay may be better off as a long reliever out of the bullpen. Currently Jeff Locke is the Pirates long relief option. Furthermore, Locke has not been performing well lately in that role. Because of that there is good chance that Jeff Locke will be cut this off-season. This will open up the door for the Pittsburgh Pirates to slide Hutchison into the bullpen as a long reliever.
Here at RumBunter we have talked a lot of trying to retain Ivan Nova for the 2017 season. However, Buster Olney has different ideas. Although it is rare to see September trades, Olney suggests that the Houston Astros should make a play for Nova. Olney talks about how the Pittsburgh Pirates are out of the playoff race at this point, and that the Astros could use a bolster to their rotation. September trades do not happen a lot because any player acquired in September are not post-season eligible. Still, with the Astros rotation struggling and the team on the cusp of the playoffs Olney thinks acquiring a pitcher will help get them into the post-season which is the ultimate goal.
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Finally do you have any thoughts on these topics? Comment below!