Pittsburgh Pirates: How Will The Outfield Shape Up Next Season?
Oh, Cutch. How I miss you. Please come back soon. But don’t come back as 2016 Cutch, because he made me really sad sometimes. Maybe come back as 2013 MVP Cutch. He could hit, run, and play defense, and most importantly he could keep the boo birds away from PNC Park. I’ll always respect Cutch for the way he orchestrated the turnaround of the Pirates and of Pittsburgh as a baseball city, but my patience is wearing thin.
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On the surface, Cutch’s 2016 fielding stats don’t seem that bad. But once you start peeling back the layers, it gets ugly. Now, bear with me, because these are some pretty advanced stats, but trust me. They’re not great.
McCutchen finished 2016 with a -4 RTOT, only six outfield assists, and so many advanced stats about his poor route efficiency that would make your head spin. My point is this: Andrew McCutchen gave the club a few great years in center field, but his time there is finished. Or, it better be, if the Pirates want to win.
So, my solution is basically to hide him in right field. With such a short distance between home plate and the Clemente Wall, I figure that that gives him fewer opportunities to mess up. I know the chain link parts of the wall can make for some obscenely strange and unforeseeable bounces, but those don’t happen enough to deter me from getting him out of center field.
I believe in McCutchen’s abilities at the plate. He can’t suck there forever. But maybe he just sucks in center field, which is fine. We just need to stop putting him out there.
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What do you think? Will this outfield shake-up actually happen? Should it? Will McCutchen ever be himself again? Let me know in the comments below!