Pirates toying with the idea of batting Andrew McCutchen second

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit second in Thursday’s lineup against the Yankees. McCutchen hasn’t found himself in that spot during the regular season since 2010, but it’s an idea the Pirates are toying with, Travis Sawchik reports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Why move McCutchen out of the three-spot? Manager Clint Hurdle explains, via Sawchik:

Indeed, as Sawchik points out, McCutchen came to the plate with two outs and nobody on base 158 times, the second-highest total in baseball. That seems like a waste of McCutchen’s hitting prowess, as the five-time All-Star otherwise hit .292/.401/.488 last season.

While McCutchen doesn’t sound like he expects the Pirates to actually bat him second during the regular season, he’s still open to the idea. He said, “From a team standpoint, if it helps, then I’m for it.”