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Andrew McCutchen has the special distinction of being one of the very few Pirates first round draft picks that is not a pitcher and has not blown out his arm. McCutchen is currently the starting center fielder at AAA Indianapolis, and his offensive skills are finally starting to catch up to his phenomenal defensive talent. He is clearly a part of the ever rebuilding Pirates' future. Xavier Nady might go on the DL with a sprained left shoulder. If he does go on the DL, the team, in true Pirates fashion, has no plans of calling up McCutchen.
According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates beat writer for the Post-Gazette, if Nady goes on the DL, the team plans to call up Nyjer Morgan, the owner of a whopping .288 on base percentage, instead.
This move, as Pirates moves often do, makes no sense whatsoever. McCutchen's play has been far superior to Morgan's. McCutchen line .284/.367/.437 with 8 homers and 19 steals is far more impressive than Morgan's .241/.288/.277 with no homers and 18 steals. What makes this move even less understandable is the fact that McCutchen is expected to be the center fielder of the future for the Pirates. Morgan is a former 33rd round draft pick who wasn't even supposed to make it as far as he has in his career. Morgan's future with the Pirates is uncertain, and it is uncertain if he is a major league caliber guy at all.
Apparently the Pirates have learned nothing from the Arizona Diamondbacks. What has given Arizona so much success over the past few seasons is their willingness to let young guys test the water. Instead of letting their young players rot in the Minors, they call them up at the first sign of readiness and give them a chance to prove themselves. It's worked out pretty well for them so far. Last year, the Diamondbacks won the NL West and made it to the NLCS. This year, they're again winning the West (by 5.5 games) and have the 3rd most wins in the NL.
Why not give McCutchen a cup of coffee if Nady lands of the DL? The Pirates don't have much to lose. They're two games under .500 and light years away from the division and wild card leads. The team has nothing to lose calling up the guy who's supposed to be the future face of the franchise. Then again, it is the Pirates we're talking about here. What am I so supposed to expect, a move that makes sense?