Daniel McCutchen to start Saturday?

The Pittsburgh Pirates still don’t have a starter for Saturday, although it’s looking more and more like that starter will be Daniel McCutchen.  Charlie Morton would be the only other option, but Morton is scheduled to start tonight for Indianapolis.  If Morton does start, then that would pretty much confirm that McCutchen will start Saturday, which was his next scheduled start for Indianapolis.

McCutchen had his struggles at the start of the year, putting up a 13.50 ERA in 12 innings, spanning four appearances and three starts.  McCutchen posted a 7:7 K/BB ratio during that span, with five homers allowed.  He struggled in his return to AAA, posting a 4.81 ERA in his first four starts, with a 12:3 K/BB ratio in 24.1 innings during that stretch.  McCutchen was put on the disabled list, and missed ten days after that fourth start, which saw him give up seven runs in six innings of work.

Upon his return, McCutchen has been much better, with a 3.22 ERA and a 17:11 K/BB ratio in 36.1 innings over six starts.  He’s gotten even better recently, with a 2.73 ERA and a 15:7 K/BB ratio in 26.1 innings in his four starts during the month of June.  McCutchen looked like he could be a back of the rotation starter before the season, and it would be a huge boost to the Pirates if his recent success is an indication of a turnaround from his early season woes in the majors.

As for Morton, he is currently on a rehab assignment, which means he can be down in the minors for a maximum of 30 days.  Morton began his assignment on June 8th, which means he would need to return to the majors no later than July 8th.  Right now he lines up for starts on the 29th of June, the 4th of July, and the 9th of July.  That’s pretty much the same schedule as Jeff Karstens, although Karstens lines up for the 10th of July.

My guess is that the Pirates will see how McCutchen handles his return to the majors, while giving Morton some more time to work things out at AAA.  Morton hasn’t exactly been dominant at the level, with a 4.91 ERA in 14.2 innings over three starts, and a 14:6 K/BB ratio.  If McCutchen does well, I could see Morton returning to take Karstens’ spot in the rotation, most likely after Morton makes his final three rehab starts with AAA.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Thomas and Jackson Join The Pirates

Next Story »

Game 72 Live Blog: Pirates at Rangers

Latest Analysis

  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    9 hours ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    1 day ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    2 days ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    2 days ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    2 days ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    3 days ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles