Rain canceled last night’s Pirates-Dodgers game, so Andrew McCutchen’s one-game benching for not hustling ends up being a zero-game suspension, as he’ll be back in Pittsburgh’s lineup tonight.
However, the Pirates center fielder still took the time to apologize publicly for his not running to first base on a third strike that got away from the catcher Wednesday, saying “I know that’s not the type of person I am.”
Here’s more of what McCutchen told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:
I let my emotions get the best of me. I took it out on my bat and myself when I shouldn’t have been mad. I was just frustrated at the time and not focused on the game, not focused that the ball was in the dirt with two strikes and I needed to run to first.
Clint Hurdle appears to have established a zero-tolerance policy on not hustling in his first season as Pirates manager, benching Ronny Cedeno last month and McCutchen yesterday. Treating a role-player like Cedeno the same as a star like McCutchen is crucial when taking that approach, and McCutchen seems fine with the benching.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”