Pittsburgh Pirates: SPs Did Their Job, Roster Shake Ups Needed & More Takeaways From Series Loss in Baltimore
By Marty Leap
Leave Andrew McCutchen at the top of the lineup
When the Pittsburgh Pirates re-signed Andrew McCutchen this past offseason I wrote about the possiblity of him batting leadoff this season. Well, Sunday afternoon this finally happened as Derek Shelton put McCutchen at the top of his lineup.
This marked the first time since 2011 that McCutchen had bat leadoff for the Pirates. He proceeded to lead the game off with a single before coming around to score the first run of the game. Moving forward, Shelton should leave McCutchen at the top of the lineup.
McCutchen owns a 14.8% walk rate and a .359 on-base percentage. Both of these numbers are very healthy for a leadoff hitter. When you take Oneil Cruz out of the equation due to being on the injured list, McCutchen's walk rate is second on the team behind Jack Suwinski while his OBP is third behind Suwinski and Jason Delay.
Cutch undoubtedly still has it in him to be a table setter at the top of a lineup. Leaving him in the leadoff spot is a move that could benefit a struggling Pirate lineup. At least for now, Shelton should stick with Cutch leading off.