Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his major league debut last Friday afternoon against the Padres, but he’s now batting .444 with a 1.194 OPS through 24 plate appearances. Addison Russell will be hoping for a similar type of turnaround.
Russell finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his Cubs debut on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, though Chicago still managed to pull out a 9-8 victory.
Russell had a pretty good RBI opportunity in the top of the eighth inning when Starlin Castro singled and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked, but the 21-year-old top prospect lined out to Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang. That was Russell’s final at-bat of the night.
Russell started at second base Tuesday and batted ninth. A bit of trivia here: The last — and only — National League position player to bat ninth in his major league debut was Mark Little of the Cardinals in 1998.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.
2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.