Pirates Notebook: McCutchen’s Power is Just Fine

Andrew McCutchen hit two homers today against the Tigers.

A month into the 2012 season, all eyes were on Andrew McCutchen and the fact that he had not yet gone deep for a home run. Game after game, McCutchen continued to pick up hits, doubles, swiping bases, but his lack of long ball power started to raise some concern outside the clubhouse.

“As far as power, power comes and power goes,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said in early May. “I’m encouraged that Andrew is not out there swinging like he was in the second half of the season [last year]. Home runs will come. Especially if you’re a guy that’s hitting one every 30 at-bats anyway, what’s the big deal? He hasn’t even had 100 at-bats, so how many is he really short?”

It took McCutchen 95 at-bats before he connected for his first homer of the season. The All-Star center fielder took a 2-2 pitch by the Washington Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson to lead off the fourth inning on May 8th. And since then, McCutchen’s home runs keep on coming.

On Saturday afternoon in Detroit, McCutchen connected for two, two-run blasts off the Tigers’ rookie Drew Smyly. The first came with one-out in the first inning, the second with one-out in the fifth. It marked his sixth and seventh home runs of the season and his fourth and fifth over his last eight games. McCutchen has collected 10 hits in his last 15 at bats against left-handed pitchers for a .667 average. The outfielder also had a two-homer night against the Nationals on Thursday. He now has six career multi-homer games and two this season.

McCutchen has a .420 average this month in 50 at-bats. Entering game action on Saturday, the only three players in the National League with a higher batting average so far this month are Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz (.442), New York’s David Wright (.436) and St. Louis’ Rafael Furcal (.426).

The seven long balls McCutchen has connected for this month (with 10 games remaining) is the most he has hit in one month since hitting eight in his rookie season in August 2009.

Safe to say his power is just fine.


Burnett Holds Tigers to Two Runs

Right-hander A.J. Burnett made his sixth start of the season on Saturday against Detroit. Burnett allowed just two runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out two while throwing 106 pitches, 67 strikes.

Both runs scored off Burnett in the third inning. The right-hander gave up a leadoff double to left fielder Andy Dirks. After Miguel Cabrera grounded out to first allowing the runner to advance to third, Prince Fielder drilled a two-run homer to right field for his seventh long ball of the season to tie the game at 2.

The 33-year-old didn’t have the best control in his outing. Burnett had at least one base runner in each of his six innings but was able to battle through and limit the damage. Burnett’s two punch outs didn’t come until his final frame.

Burnett is two innings shy of becoming the 17th active hurler with at least 2000 innings pitched in the big leagues.


McGehee Snaps Skid in Detroit

Infielder Casey McGehee snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a single up the left side in the second inning on Saturday. The third baseman, who has adjusted very well to playing first base primarily for the Bucs, entered game action hitting for just a .195 average this season. McGehee hit .269/.345/.710 in the month of April, but has hit for just a .086 clip over 14 games in May.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Pirates Notebook: Verlander No Hits Pirates Through Eight

Next Story »

Pirates Notebook: Why are Teams Pitching to McCutchen?

  • Brian Krueger

    Not to nitpick but it was MIGUEL Cabrera who grounded out, not Melky, who plays for the Giants! Love your articles by the way…..

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    18 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles