A lot of Pirates fans are frustrated, whether it be for the controversial ending to Sunday’s game against Arizona or if it was the plunking of Andrew McCutchen on Saturday night that was blatantly a retaliation to the Pirates hitting Paul Goldschmidt. But there are far bigger worries in the Steel City now. The news broke late Monday afternoon via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pirates superstar Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen was placed on the 15-day disabled list after exiting Sunday’s game after hitting a sacrifice fly. In fact, McCutchen was helped down the dugout steps into the clubhouse by teammate Pedro Alvarez.
The Pirates now have a very interesting situation on hand especially after staying quiet during the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. Now, the Pirates may be forced to go out and acquire not just a bat but maybe some pitching help as well. Hopefully for the Pirates they don’t need the pitching help with Gerrit Cole set to return very soon, but his health isn’t a given. But let’s get back to the McCutchen injury. McCutchen was most likely on his way to winning another National League MVP award this season so this is going to be a very tough stretch for this Pirate team.
The Pirates are looking to get to their second straight postseason after a momentous and refreshing year in 2013. This 2014 team is tough to figure out. At times they look very good and click on all levels but at other times they make fundamental errors and a lot of those have cost them games. With McCutchen out, the Pirates as an organization need 110% from each and every single player. They cannot afford to lose much ground while McCutchen is out. The Pirates are right in the thick of things and it’s been a long climb back but they have to stay right around .500 while Cutch is out.
I have no idea what direction the Pirates will go as far as getting help is concerned. However, one name that brings up a lot of possibility is Marlon Byrd. Byrd helped the Pirates playoff push and a lot of their success last season while with the Pirates. He was also acquired after the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, along with Justin Morneau. Byrd is by no means Andrew McCutchen, but he has the power to provide enough runs for the Pirates to tread water until they get their best player back. This month is going to be tough for the Pirates but if they survive it, they may be better off than they were before Cutch got hurt.