Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that the Pirates have scratched center fielder Andrew McCutchen from their starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Astros because of soreness in his right knee.
Starling Marte will slide over to center, Travis Snider will play left field and Garrett Jones will get the start in right. Gaby Sanchez is at first base.
The Pirates have not addressed the severity of McCutchen’s knee soreness, but he was in the lineup initially so that would suggest that the decision to hold him out was more precautionary than anything.
McCutchen, 26, is batting .281/.348/.469 with six homers, nine steals and 23 RBI in 42 games.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.