REPORT: Pittsburgh Pirates Re-Sign Yoshi Tsutsugo

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Yoshi Tsutsugo #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat during a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 20: Yoshi Tsutsugo #32 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat during a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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According to Jason Mickey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Pittsburgh Pirates ave re-signed slugger Yoshi Tsutsugo to a 1-year contract

Entering the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates had multiple tasks they were looking to accomplish. One of these tasks was to add starting rotation help. They did this by signing José Quintana earlier this week.

The team was also looking to add thump to their lineup. One of the main ways the Pittsburgh Pirates were hoping to do this was by re-signing left-handed hitting corner outfielder/first baseman/designated hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo.

Well, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have come to an agreement to keep Tsutsugo in Pittsburgh.

After being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tsutsugo spent the final six weeks of the 2021 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the Pirates Tsutsugo did nothing but slug on his way to becoming a fan favorite among Pirate fans. Now, the Japanese slugger will remain with the Pirates in 2022.

Tsutusgo had 144 plate appearances with the Pirates last season. In these 144 PAs Tsutsugo hit for a .268/.374/.535 slash line. He drew walks at a 10.4% rate, posted a 134 wRC+, an isolate slugging (ISO) of .268, and he slugged 8 home runs to go with a 11.8% extra base hit rate.

Another encouraging sign was Tsutsugo’s .299 batting average on balls in play (BAbip). This is a league average BAbip, indicated that he did not benefit from good luck and/or poor defense against him, Furthermore, his 22.9% strikeout rate was not a concern. While it was a bit higher than you would like to see it was not at a worrisome level, either.

Looking ahead to 2022, Tsutsugo could factor in as a corner outfielder or a first baseman with the Pirates. However, his most likely role would be as the team’s designated hitter. It is widely expected that the National League will adopt the DH as part of the new CBA. This could lead to Tsutsugo being the Pirate DH.

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The Pirates will now need to clear tow spots off their 40-man roster. Both Tsutsugo and Quintana will need to be added to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Anthony Alford and Jared Oliva, as well as pitcher Anthony Banda, Eric Handhold, Sam Howard, Chad Kuhl, and Duane Underwood Jr. are all candidates to be taken off the 40-man.

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