Tuesday, March 23, 2010

McCutchen wins Fifth Spot in Rotation

Finally we have seen a job won and lost based on performance with the Buccos.  Daniel McCutchen has been named the teams fifth starter, beating out Kevin Hart for the job.  McCutchen has been impressive all spring, although not against major league hitters all of the time.  The main thing that won him the job has been his ability to throw strikes consistently.

That's exactly what cost Hart the job.  After struggling at the end of last season, going 1-8 as a Pirate, Hart couldn't figure out the strike zone this spring either, with an alarming walk rate.  While many in the organization still consider Hart to have the better stuff of the two, his inabilty to throw strikes led to him being one of eight cuts.

Some have said McCutchen doesn't have great stuff, but I disagree.  His fastball may only top out at around 92, but he has pretty decent command of his two-seamer and breaking stuff and generally keeps the ball down in the zone.

While winning the fifth starter competition is big for McCutchen, it's not that big of a deal for the Pirates right off the bat.  Up until April 24th, the Bucs will only need to use their fifth starter once, on April 11th.

In addition to Hart, the Bucs also cut Chris Jakubauskas and Neil Walker- all three will be sent to AAA.  Brian Myrow, Hector Giminez, Brian Burress, Wil Ledezma and Jean Machi were all assigned to minor league camp.

-Zach Duke was named opening day starter.  No surprise, but I didn't feel he was worthy off it.  I feel Ross Ohlendorf or Paul Maholm would have been a better choice.

-Octavio Dotel has been throwing to batters and should be ready for opening day.

- Not that spring averages mean much, but several pencilled in regulars have not swung the bat well.  All hitting under .200 for the spring are Aki Iwumara (.199), Jeff Clement (.194), Andy Laroche (.194) and Brandon Moss (a whopping .038)

-Former Bucco Nate McLouth is only 1 for 30 on the spring with 15 K's.

-Bucs got shelled by the Astros today 11-1.


  1. I feel McCutchen will be quite the surprise. He didn't look bad at the end of last seaon.

  2. good choice by the Bucs. hart sucks. I heard his favorite song was Walk This Way by Aerosmith

  3. Yuck, Duke is going to start opening day. Might have to sell my tickets. I hate watching him pitch. Gonna be an 8-3 loss

    Hart's actual favorite song is These Boots are made For Walking

  4. Hart's favorite TV Show is Walker Texas Ranger

  5. I heard Kevin hart likes to Walk like an Egyptian

  6. Very funny stuff guys. keep it up

  7. McCutchen is a good choice for 5th guy. Nady trade looking good now.

    Harts Favorite movie is Walk The Line

  8. I thought hart's favorite movie was walk hard-the dewey cox story