Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cutch, Tony, Josh All-Stars

The votes are, the managers made their choices, and the Buccos have three reps in the 2014 All-Star Game: Cutch, Tony Watson and Josh Harrison.

Cutch, 27, is no surprise, of course; the only question was how many votes would he get. McCutchen owns a slash of .322/.423/.542 with 13 HR, 56 RBI, 46 runs, 13 stolen bases, league-leading 56 walks and was the June Player of the Month. He's making a strong case for back-to-back MVPs.

Andrew led all NL outfielders with 4,519,440 votes, and was finally selected by the fans for the first time (he came in seventh last year during his MVP season). He's the first Pirate to start an ASG since Jason Bay in 2006 and the first to be named to the team in four straight seasons since Roberto Clemente (1969-72). The only other Bucco outfielder with that honor was Ralph Kiner, who went six straight years as an All-Star team member, five of them as a Bucco.

Tony Watson and Josh Harrison were named to the team by Mike Matheny.

Watson, 29, has an 0.89 ERA in 40-2/3 innings, the third-best mark among qualified NL relievers, with a 26-1/3 IP span without giving up an earned run. He averages 11 K per nine, leads the NL with 22 holds and now is the next man up as the Bucs' closer. Lefties hit .190 off him and righties .202, so he's pretty much an equal opportunity reliever. Tony was a surprise just because he's a set-up man and not a closer, (and also because Mark the Shark didn't get more love) though he had been gathering some buzz lately.

Harrison, 26, was the stunner of the group, a super sub that left some big names (lookin' at you, Ryan Braun) in the cold. His line is .299/.336/.448 with five home runs, 12 doubles and nine steals. His defense, especially considering he's played four positions, has been surprisingly strong, he's a good baserunner on a team of loose cannons, and since he's been in the lineup the past two months has been the Pirates energizer bunny. All totaled, he has a 1.7 WAR by Fangraphs and a 2.0 by Baseball Reference. Still, he's the first utility player named to the NL team since the Braves' Omar Infante in 2010.

It's a compliment to the team that an MVP, non-closing reliever and role guy got bids; the Bucs are a team whose parts add to more than the whole, especially in the past five weeks.

No Pirates are in the final vote for the last spot, so Neil Walker is done, hurt by an untimely bout with appendicitis. But a couple of other guys will represent: manager Clint Hurdle is an NL coach and assistant athletic trainer Ben Potenziano is on the NL staff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Josh snubbed Braun? OH MY is that sweet.