Cardinals outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty recently started playing some first base at Triple-A and now–after six total appearances at the position–he’s on his way to St. Louis as an alternative to Mark Reynolds. Rob Rains of STLSportsPage.com reports that he’ll join the team in time for Tuesday’s game.
Piscotty was a first-round draft pick in 2012 and a consensus top-100 prospect last year and this year. He’s hit .272 with 11 homers and an .841 OPS in 87 games at Triple-A this season.
His recent numbers are even better, including a .306 batting average, nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (31), and a .902 OPS in the past 50 games. Reynolds has struggled for the Cardinals and hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2012, so Piscotty doesn’t have a very high bar to clear in terms of providing an offensive upgrade.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.