Insider Only Daily 5: McCutchen’s MVP Surge; Sestito fits certain role Pens brass have identified?


Rumblings, Musings, Opinions

1. Andrew McCutchen making his MVP surge, was 2-5 with a home run and 4 RBIs in the Pirates 7-2 win over the Florida Marlins Wednesday night.

On pace for 110 RBIs this season, which would be a career high (previous 96 in 2012), McCutchen’s 85 RBIs currently place him 3rd in the NL. McCutchen’s 2013 NL MVP winning season he drove in just 84 runs.

Hitting with runners in scoring position has been an area of improvement for McCutchen. In 2014 McCutchen posted an .887 OPS with runners in scoring position. This season McCutchen’s OPS with RISP is 1.172, batting .394.

A fun stat to keep an eye on for McCutchen — His slash line is currently .300/.400/.521. — The last center fielder to post a .300/.400/.500 slash line in four consecutive seasons was Mickey Mantle, courtesy of the Yes Network.

2. The cornerback position gets so magnified but there’s at least a little bit of promise of the group being adequate this season.

The safety position is another story. Mike Mitchell can’t stay on the practice field twisting his ankle in Wednesday’s practice. Shamarko Thomas continues to show little promise of being starter capable.

Thomas has struggled mightily in being able to read the quarterback. It was a problem again on Sunday vs the Packers and has been an issue in practices. Quarterbacks are able to get him to bite very easily. The Steelers face a star studded group of QB’s this season. The team better hope more playing time can fix Thomas.

3. Looking at the Michael Vick signing just from a football standpoint, the backup quarterback position has been strengthened with Vick replacing the injured Bruce Gradkowski. Let’s say Ben Roethlisberger goes down with a three game injury right before the Steelers brutal five game stretch in the schedule that starts Nov 29 vs Seattle.

Who would you want under center facing the Seahawks, Colts and Bengals in consecutive weeks, Gradkowski or Vick?

4. Until the Steelers prove other wise, the blue print on how to attack the Steelers defense will be spreading them out into nickel and gashing them between the tackles. What Green Bay’s first team offense did Sunday afternoon when sparingly on the field is just a glimpse of what to expect and the Packers weren’t even game planning.

sestito5. The Vancouver Canucks organization last season paid Tom Sestito to sit and do nothing for the final couple months of the season. After being stuck in the minors, Sestito is said to have thrown a fit behind the scenes, causing the Canucks to decide he wasn’t worth the hassle. “Tom Sestito will not play for either club for the remainder of this season,” the Canucks announced in February. “Sestito will workout on his own and will continue to receive his salary while the Canucks work to identify a new club where he can continue his career.”

Why is he getting a tryout with the Penguins? At first glance it looks like nothing more than having someone to drop the gloves in the preseason but those in the organization say Sestito has a shot to make the club for this reason: Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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