For the first time since his callup in 2009, the Pirates are going to be without Andrew McCutchen for some unknown amount of time. If the Pirates are trying to keep him off of the disabled list but haven’t ruled it out yet, I’d assume we’re looking at something in ballpark of a week to a month, but we just don’t know for sure right now.
The Pirates are going to have to face the Marlins without him, though, and they’ll probably have to face the Padres without him this weekend, too. In an exceptionally poor draw, they’ll face a left-handed pitcher tonight on his first night out of the lineup. Since they didn’t replace him with a right-handed outfield bat, that means that Josh Harrison is going to be in left field and Jayson Nix will be playing third base. This is suboptimal.
I suppose the good news is that it’s Brad Hand pitching for the Marlins tonight, and not Clayton Kershaw or some lefty along those lines. Hand has been in and out of the Marlins’ rotation this year, and he’s pitched really well since returning to the rotation in early July, putting up a 2.70 ERA in his six starts (36 2/3 innings). His peripherals are a mess, though (18:10 K:BB) and it seems crazy that a guy with a season ground ball rate below 50% didn’t give up a home run in any of those 36 2/3 innings.
Charlie Morton pitches for the Pirates. After pitching really well for a stretch in the early summer, there are an alarming number of 4s, 5s, and 6s in his run column lately. First pitch tonight is at 7:05.