Andrew McCutchen Injured; Matt Gorski, Bubba Chandler, Jase Bowen Promoted

Andrew McCutchen will miss the rest of the season with a partial tear of his left achilles tendon. Earlier this year, McCutchen passed the 2,000 career hit milestone. He is currently at 299 home runs, and has expressed interest in returning to the Pirates next year.

McCutchen showed he can still hit, batting .256/.378/.397 this year, with 12 home runs and 11 steals. He played exclusively as the designated hitter, and probably ended up playing more than expected with the injury to Ji Man Choi and the other injuries that left the team depleted.

He would be good to bring back in a reduced role next year, serving as a glue guy for the locker room and dugout, as well as a DH and bat off the bench. 


The Pirates promoted Matt Gorski to Triple-A after the center fielder batted .238/.310/.492 in the month of August. Gorski had some of the best all-around play I saw in Altoona, with some of the best power and the ability to play center field. He performed better after Altoona added Joe Perez, who is more of a Triple-A bat. It will be interesting to see how Gorski performs at a higher level, surrounded by more power bats.


Bubba Chandler has been on fire over the last month and a half. The right-hander took ten days off to fish and play golf in July, evaluating the rest of his season. He followed with eight more starts in High-A, posting a 1.85 ERA in 43.2 innings, with a 43:13 K/BB ratio. He will be making his next start in Altoona on Friday.

Bubba Chandler is Starting to Give Pirates Fans Something to Talk About

Jase Bowen was promoted to Altoona, and will replace Gorski. Bowen has been excellent in Greensboro this season, batting .257/.333/.469. The center fielder has good instincts in the outfield, and will be tested more in the more spacious field in Altoona. He’s got speed on the bases, with 24 steals in 29 attempts.


Darvin Garcia was promoted to Greensboro to take the place of Chandler. Garcia had a 6.59 ERA in 35 games out of the bullpen in Bradenton this year.

Maikol Escotto was activated for Greensboro. He’s got a .212/.269/.342 line with eight home runs in 307 at-bats this year.


PIRATES (65-75) VS Brewers

Score: Pirates 5, Brewers 4
Pittsburgh Starter: Colin Selby, RHP (7.20)
–Line: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Bailey Falter, LHP (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
Attendance: 8,594

Notable Performers

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (1-for-3, BB, HR [13])
  • Ji Hwan Bae, CF-2B (1-for-4, 3B, RBI)
  • Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, W)
  • David Bednar, RHP (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, SV [33])

One Sentence Recap: Ji Hwan Bae tripled to give the Pirates a lead in the seventh inning, and scored the go-ahead run on a Miguel Andujar pinch-hit single.


The Ke’Bryan Hayes power surge has been one of the best parts about the second half of this season.

There’s the triple from Bae, and there’s the base running from Delay.


There were seven homers around the system during Wednesday’s games.

Pirates Prospect Watch: Termarr Johnson and a Day of Power


Roansy Contreras pitched four innings, allowing two runs, while Nick Gonzales homered on Wednesday night.


Matt Fraizer hit his eighth homer of the year for Altoona, and Anthony Solometo allowed one run in 4.1 innings.


Termarr Johnson led a few comeback attempts for Greensboro, including his fifth homer of the year.


The Marauders dropped to 2.5 games back from the playoffs, with an elimination number of three. For the full day of minor league results, check out the Prospect Watch.


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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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If the shortstop and second baseman basically don’t collide and mess up the cutoff throw, Delay is out by about five steps. But hey, that is baseball.


Does Davis have the mindset to be a RF? He certainly has the mindset to be a Catcher which translates best to 1B. He needs to be involved and in places where he doesn’t have to think so much. I worry about his ability to relax enough as that ball comes flying through the air to RF.


Wait…don’t catchers have to think a lot? He’s not looked good in RF because he got about 12 hours in the outfield before they threw him up to the big leagues. Give him some time.


I think you missed the point, but that’s okay. As catcher he can be constantly aggressive and active. It fits his skill set. I am definitely willing to give him time. We hear how hard he works. We see a potentially plus hitter. I just am not sure how easy the outfield will be for him. I hope it works out, but also I hope we don’t have to watch him continue to learn when the Pirates games count in 2024.


The outfield isn’t easy because it’s not easy for just anyone to go out there. It was an issue for Cruz too, who is far more athletic than Hank. I don’t think it’s a mindset thing and it’s far too early to speculate on that. At least until he gets a lot more experience out there.


Wabbit says that he’ll be the #2 catcher in Pittsburgh next season and play some right. Bucs will carry Jason Delay as well.

When Tank catches, Endy CAN play elsewhere. Said in one interview he really enjoyed 2nd base. And his bat is coming along.

We are gonna have a team of doubles hitters next season.

“Oh we’re the boys of the chorus
We hope you like our show
We know you’re rootin’ for us
But now we have to goooooo!”



My 2 cents worth:
1) We may have a surplus of good hitting middle infielders next year, where we might periodically DH one.
2) We might have Henry Davis as a part-time catcher where we might want to DH him once or twice a week.
3) Miguel Andujar might actually be the guy that drives in runs that we want to DH several times a week.
4) We want Cutch on this roster for several reasons.

To me, Cutch just can’t be the everyday DH next year. Maybe 81 games. Assuming Cutch can’t play the outfield next year, would he come back to be a part-time player only at DH.


the elbow injury evidently kept him out of the outfield. if he’s healthy, cutch can play the outfield once a week with no problems. he can still run pretty well


Do NOT tell that to Leefieux.


Cruz, Peguero, Bae, Gonzales, Triolo, Williams, Marcano, Johnson maybe by ’25, …

We do have a lot of players battling for time in the middle infield–Kiley McDaniel noted a couple of weeks ago that one of the main challenges of the coaching staff is sorting through this “mess” of talent.

In theory we should trade one of these players for pitching, but the guys that could bring back a pitcher we’d be excited about are also the guys we’d hate to part with. Or we could trade for an OF, but it probably makes more sense to just convert one or two of these players to OF, as we’re in the process of doing with Bae.


middle infielders are below average hitters in the outfield. None of these guys are useful as a corner outfielder. You need to deal them if that’s what you want. Thats what you get when you just get talent without having bats that will play at different positions.


I want to see Cruz make it at SS, but clearly his bat could play in the OF. Peguero, Gonzales (if he improves pitch recognition), and Johnson all could have strong enough bats to justify a corner position. And if (big if) Bae can be an elite defender in CF (currently, I think he’s overrated there), he could have enough bat to move permanently to the OF. Maybe even Triolo, possibly as a poor-man’s Zobrist.


Don’t forget Cheng, who knows about Brannigan or Jebb until Altoona.
My unrealistic dream, trade Triolo, NickyG, Nunez, Priester, Barco and Sullivan for Schanuel and Detmers. I’d throw in Jebb or Bowen in as well.


Despite the not so strong Arm, it almost seems like Bae might be better suited for center field than he does for second base.


Right. I don’t think he’s a very good second baseman. I’m not sure where to play him though with an OPS under .700. Something has to get better.


His ops since the break has been .680 whie the Pirates as a team is .705. I think he has come back improved at something. My main concern is where he is now as a base stealer. By the end of April, he was on base to steal around 60 bases. Since the all-star break he has just 2 stolen bases. Having Bae not steal would be like having Suwinski not hit homers. 🙂


Why would the Pirates not bring McCutchen back assuming this injury is minor and his overall health is good? Forget about his age for a minute and focus on his on his production and overall contribution to the team.

He has the best OBP and most walks on the team and is third in hits, batting average and OPS as well as fourth in home runs and RBI. He plays hard every play and his example should be adopted by every other player. He’s probably the most popular player among fans (who knows how many tickets were sold this year to people who came just to see him?) and no one could ask for a better team mate. He loves playing in Pittsburgh and might be able to convince some quality free agents that it’s not a bad place to be.

Bringing him back should be a no brainer, but we already know some of Cherington’s decisions involving the use of that term so who knows?
i can’t find any reasons not to bring him back.


They will bring him back, but hes about done. He was a pretty weak DH. Not terrible, but certainly weak.


He’ll be back, but, I wonder why honestly. He broke down physically this year and he has never been durable. He played very little in the field and the wear and tear still got him. Additionally, his performance since the beginning of July has been pretty poor. If he wasn’t Cutch fans would be screaming.


Fans are screaming about Jack, too, and yet filling all the holes this team has AND replacing two of their five most valuable position players seems like a pipe dream.

They’re not gonna do better than Cutch AND address the areas of actual need.


precisely. Cutch did suffer some season long niggles and injuries but played through it mostly. Dude needs a yoga instructor… he’s too darn tight.

Long story short, I’d like to see him play a Willie Stargell role. Pops came out of the outfield to first and was an important player. I wonder if Cutch, wanting to be a player who the Pirates need, could play first.


Right, if he wasn’t Cutch, I don’t think he’d be back as we have several RH options for DH who would be better bets in terms of health and possibly production. But there is value in having someone who so openly loves Pittsburgh and being a Pirate. Relatedly, I think we’re much less likely to trade Bednar for the same reasons.


I was thinking about Bednar when reflecting on how good Ragans looked for KC (and Fangraphs had an article about Ragans this week). If Bednar didn’t have the intangible of being from Pittsburgh, and given that KC got Ragans for a reliever with much less value than Bednar has, I’d be advocating for Cherington to trade Bednar at peak value this offseason (I’m a little concerned that his usage rate will shorten the length of his peak value). But I’m all for keeping Bednar–his passion for Pittsburgh can’t help but rub off on his teammates, right?


I’d be shocked if he’s not back. I think Cherington appreciates his value, but even if he didn’t he’d likely get overruled by Nutting.

As for NMR’s comment, figuring out where to play Davis should be near the top of their priority list going into next season. I think he can make himself into a decent RF, but maybe 1B is also an option and I’d hope that they haven’t closed the book on C (which they haven’t, if you believe Cherington).


Figuring out where Oneil is going to play might come sooner than many of us hope for. Cruz in RF and Davis to 1b would be ideal, but I have a hard time seeing it. I don’t think Davis will ever have a defensive home where he will be average.


I think Davis will have a hard time at first, I think he has a hard glove hand. I really hope I’m wrong.


‘nother Ryan Doumit.


Doumit was a better outfielder!






I hope not, talk about a guy who could have benefited from the dh. Doumit could have caught 1or 2 games a week and hit everyday.
I think with his work ethic, Davis can still catch a couple days and get better in right field.
Doumit had stones for hand’s.


They’ve got themselves into a bit of a pickle with Hank, but if they’re willing to let him figure it out in RF then you’re exactly correct. DH is wide open and they’re not gonna do any better than Cutch.


I see him as our everyday RF and his reputation for work ethic seems to tell me that he will figure it out.


He’s got the arm and work ethis, and moves pretty well. He just takes terrible routes and is a bit stiff.


I’m optimistic as well.


Some will say this team resembles the 2011 or 2012 team, but I’m inclined to say it’s more like the 1988 team.

In ‘11 & ‘12, both teams stumbled to the finish line. Whereas in ‘88, the team finished with something like a 30-20 record to pronounce themselves as a team to be reckoned with. Hopefully this group will be a playoff team next year, not in two years, like the ‘88 team.


It was actually 87, when they went 27-10 down the stretch, including great series wins against the Cards and Mets as the Bonds/Van Slyke/Drabek team gelled. 1988 was the year they surprised everyone by chasing the Mets into August finishing second.


24-21 since July 18.


For what it’s worth, they’ve been outscored by 11 runs over that period.

Good managing! 😉


and played a lot of losing teams


there is that… but it is better than being a losing team to sub .500 teams.


So maybe they’ve outperformed their metrics by 3 games over that timeframe. It still shows they’re improving as the kids get more experienced. And they’re doing it with maybe 60% of a starting rotation.

Downplay all you want about what’s going on, but just be prepared to eat some crow buddy!


Jesus christ, now I remember why i stopped commenting at this site.


You’ve threatened to stop in the past. PLEASE DO IT ALREADY you A-HOLE!


The 87 team started slowly and was 53-71 at their low point. Final record was 80-82. The 88 team started quickly but faded down the stretch.

I remember these facts vividly, but where are my car keys?


Also, I vividly remember moving to Northern California in 1990 and going to watch the Pirates play the NL pennant winning Giants early in the season. The Pirates beat up the Giants pretty bad and I overheard a Giants fan tell his buddy how embarrassing it was to lose to the lowly Pirates. I was thinking Pirates look pretty good to me, and I was right.


I remember them going something like 8-1 on a west coast swing. I remember the 70s and 80s when they usually went 1-8 on west coast swings. It was like a jinx.


87? 88? I knew it was somewhere in the late 80’s.


there are a lot of things I can’t find in the ’80s


Yeah, I was thinking about the ’87 team after yesterday’s win. If they continue to play well for the next three weeks, there are parallels that offer hope. I can also see the case for the 2011 team, if we’re willing to buy that sequencing is somewhat arbitrary. That team had very good stretches and very bad stretches, as has this year’s team.

In any case, I must be getting more confident because I’m not writing them off when they get down by 3-4 runs. Still, I want to see how they do the rest of the way. But another three weeks of ~.500 ball and I’ll feel pretty optimistic for ’24, especially if we acquire a SP or two that can bridge the gap from Opening Day to when Skenes, Jones, and even Solometo might be ready.


Don’t look now, but Bubba may easily pass by Solometo on the depth chart next season. Definitely has better arm and if he can show he’s truly figured out how to command it, he’ll be fast tracked.


Yeah, with Chandler’s promotion to AA he’s not that far behind Solo now. I’d guess they’ll both start next year in Altoona and either could make the jump from there to Pittsburgh.


Heading down to see The Bubba on the Hill tonight at Altoona. Just watched him STFD Langford down in Greensboro in his last start so interested to see him STFD Crews… This should be fun!

Bucs are sneaking up on a good rotation. Next season’s early season Tix for the Curve ought to be well worth the inky-dinky-price!


That sounds like kooky talk. From AA straight to Pittsburgh? No way.


They’ve done it with batters, but I can’t recall that they’ve done it with a pitcher so you’re probably right. That said, if any one of Skenes, Chandler, or Solometo starts the season off dominating AA batters, you could make the case that any pitches thrown in AAA are wasted pitches. Of course they could just start these three off in AAA–how would an Indy rotation of Jones, Skenes, Chandler, Solometo, and Sullivan look? (Hoping Contreras, Ortiz, and Priester all justify a roster spot in Pittsburgh.)


Skenes will make the jump sure as my 3 point jumper. Solomento and Bubba and a handful of others shouldn’t be far behind.


Skenes might. I don’t see it happening with the others unless it’s a one-off with the proximity (think Peguro and his cameo last year).


um no

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