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Insider Only TIOPS Daily Five: Chances slim the Pirates view Andrew McCutchen as a $14 million a year player for 17

TIOPS Daily Five

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*


image1. The Gretzky bias.

Sidney Crosby on Thursday night became the third player in hockey history to have a Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and World Cup/Canada Cup MVP on his resume.

The other two are Wayne Gretzky (1987) and Bobby Orr (1976).

The other two should be Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.

Lemieux’s dominance during the 1987 Canada Cup in what was really the passing of the torch in Lemieux emerging as the worlds greatest player, saw him dominate the tournament with 11 goals, 18 points in nine games.

Yet it was Gretzky and his 3 goals, 21 points who took home the MVP honors.


DHP_47492. Andrew McCutchen in 2016: 24 home runs, 77 RBI, .769 OPS, -0.5 WAR

Pedro Alvarez in 2015: 27 home runs, 77 RBI, .789 OPS, 0.1 WAR

Andrew McCutchen has been Pedro Alvarez at the plate and McCutchen has been Alvarez in the field.

Entering Thursday, McCutchen’s -26 defensive run saved mark was the worst of any fielder at any position in baseball, and his -14.4 UZR is bottom-3.

Anyone who knows how the Pirates operate will come to the conclusion that the organization does not see McCutchen as a $14 million a year player.


DHP_50843. How the Pirates value players is not an old school mentality by the GM and his staff using their two eyes. They use a lot of analytics, unique measures to come to conclusions. That doesn’t bode well for McCutchen and it’s what makes McCutchen’s future in Pittsburgh for next season 50/50. There’s going to be lots of talk from Neal Huntington and others that the Pirates don’t plan to trade Andrew McCutchen.

However, you better believe Huntington and his staff are going to exhaust every avenue to find value for McCutchen this off-season.

It’s not going to be a Neil Walker situation where the organization comes to a decision that under no circumstances will they bring that player back at that salary, but McCutchen is going to be shopped and they will jump at the chance to move McCutchen for a veteran starter.

Josh Bell being reintroduced to the outfield and seeing time in right field hasn’t been by accident.


4. Tyler Glasnow’s performance vs the Cardinals Friday night was the type of encouraging start Glasnow needed to end the season with. He went 5 innings, allowing 1 run (HR), while striking out 4 and walking 4.

Prior to this season, It appeared to be a near lock that Glasnow would be set to start the 2017 season in the rotation. Things never transpired that way with Clint Hurdle mentioning the other day that Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are the only two pitchers locked into the rotation for 17.

The alarming signs with Glasnow at the Major League level this season has taken some of the untouchable status away from him as there is a crowd that believes the Pirates should jump at the chance to move Glasnow this winter for a Chris Archer type pitcher with a great contract.

Still, I’d bet on the Pirates having cold feet.


shazier5. Ryan Shazier on Sunday will miss the 12th regular season game of his career out of a possible 36. As electric as he may be, it’s a major problem for the short-term and long-term.

Right now, the Steelers decision to pass on inside linebacker C.J. Mosley in the 2014 draft was a mistake.

Mosley while not as dynamic as Shazier, has been a rock for the Ravens, appearing in all 35 regular season games (35 starts), totaling 264 tackles, 7 sacks and 4 interceptions.

What makes a great draft pick isn’t just talent, it’s durability to be on the field for the majority of games. Since drafted, Mosley has played in over 95% of the Ravens snaps, Shazier hasn’t even played in 50% of the Steelers snaps since 2014.

Just look at Lawrence Timmons, who while now on the downside of his career, has only missed two games in the career (2009 season). That’s how you hit on first round picks.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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