cutccch— The Andrew McCutchen situation is starting to reach the stage where you wonder how this story will end.

Bet on a messy divorce this winter.

Prior to this season, the expectation with McCutchen has always been he’d play the 2016 and 2017 seasons out as a Pirate and then be traded following the 2017 season due to the Pirates unwilling to meet his demands and he’d go on with his merry self and land a $200 million contract once he’s a free agent.

How things have turned is just stunning.

The Face of the franchise is now a drag to the ball club.

From his hitting ability, to suspect defense in centerfield, to his terrible body language that is wearing on his teammates, the Pirates just don’t know what to do with him, and some in the organization wonder if McCutchen wants to be in Pittsburgh anymore.

A player who has had a ton of rest with the All-Star break and off-days this month, the only thing the Pirates could come up with is seeing if benching McCutchen for the entire Braves series will lead to a recharged McCutchen moving forward.

“I don’t know what it feels like to have the résumé he has and go through the challenges he’s had this year,” Clint Hurdle told reporters of McCutchen sitting for the series. “What I shared with him is, I want to look you in the eyes and do what I can do just to help you out. Not to make it easier, not to make it softer. I can’t do that. But let’s do this because we have tried just about everything else.”

The Pirates have tried to study a ton of tape with McCutchen on what they’re seeing at the plate to pinpoint and correct some issues and sources say McCutchen has brushed off just about everything and not been receptive.

McCutchen will return to the starting lineup Friday night. Does Hurdle have it in him yet to remove him from the No. 3 spot? It’s getting close to that point.

lockeLocke Frustrated with Rotation

Andrew McCutchen’s whining about the umpires has come under scrutiny. It doesn’t get any better than Jeff Locke’s comments following Wednesday night’s loss.

“It’s frustrating, the inconsistent part of things,” Locke said via the Tribune-Review. “We tried to keep some guys on five-day routines with all the rotation changes and everything. One guy isn’t ever here anymore, so what was it really all for. You never know when you’re going to pitch, then you get the ball and get an opportunity tonight…..I threw more pitches warming up in the bullpen tonight than I did in games the last two weeks.”

At least Locke’s a good quote.

DodgersAugust Trade Market to involve McCutchen?

— Team sources say the Pirates intend To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!