No, really, everything.
Andrew McCutchen leads the Pirates in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, walks (tied with Neil Walker), doubles, triples and stolen bases.
Root Sports Pittsburgh points out that he’s the first player to lead a team in all of those categories this late into the season since the Astros’ Jose Cruz in 1984.
With a .342/.397/.586 line, McCutchen currently ranks sixth in the NL in OPS. He’s a big reason the Pirates are just two games back of the Reds in the NL Central, and he’d have to be in the top five in NL MVP balloting at the moment. Personally, I’d probably put him third behind Joey Votto and R.A. Dickey.
There is one word of warning here, though: McCutchen also appeared to be in the midst of a breakthrough season at this time last year, only to disappoint in the second half. He’s performing better now than he was then, but he needs to keep it going for a full year to truly establish himself as a superstar.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.