Andrew McCutchen apologizes for lack of hustle that led to benching

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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

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.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.