Andrew McCutchen has accomplished plenty over the course of his 14-year career in the big leagues.
He’s a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he has a Golden Glove and was voted the 2013 National League MVP and helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Everywhere he’s been, from his start with the Pittsburgh Pirates through last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, McCutchen has been a consummate pro, great teammate, and ambassador for the game of baseball.
Andrew McCutchen’s Career 360
Now, at age 36, “Cutch” is back where it all started. In January, he signed a one-year, $5-million dollar contract to return to the Steel City.
Though it’s been almost five years since he was traded from Pittsburgh to the San Francisco Giants, McCutchen has always thought of returning to play for the franchise that drafted him 11th overall back in 2005.
“You don’t always get that chance (to go home again),” he said during his introductory press conference. “This place is a part of me.”
During his first stint with the Pirates, McCutchen helped reestablish a winning culture that had absent since Barry Bonds took his talents to San Francisco as a free agent after the 1992 season.
The Pirates registered four winning seasons and made the playoffs in three straight years from 2013-15 with him as the catalyst and the face of the franchise. During his peak years, there may not have been a player more loved by his fanbase that Andrew McCutchen.
Andrew McCutchen Returns In New Role With Pirates
Though he is still beloved, his role this time around is much different. The Pirates haven’t won more than 69 games or finished higher than fourth in the NL East since he left. They have acquired some interesting young talent, like fellow MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes, but with youth comes inconsistency.
McCutchen won’t be expected to put up the kind of numbers he did from 2011-15, a stretch where be batted .302 with a total of 864 hits, 123 home runs, 448 RBI, 175 doubles and 75 triples, to go along with four top-five finishes in the MVP voting.
No, this time he’s the veteran in the locker room. The steady hand and the constant smile, there to play a role on the field and in the clubhouse rather than dominate it as he had before. He was already doing that during recent stops in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Milwaukee — all winning franchises –so it’s really business as usual for the Black Knight.
It’s quite possible that this could be Andrew McCutchen’s final season in the sun. Whether that’s the case or not, “Cutch” will be a contributor to whatever success the Pirates do experience. He’s a winner, and his young teammates need to see what that looks like.
They say you can’t go home again, but Andrew McCutchen is willing to try and prove that adage wrong.
McCutchen Injured Early In Spring Training
The crafty veteran who hit 27 homers in 2021 and 17 in 2022, showing he still has pop, had a scare on Sunday when he left the game with left hand discomfort after being hit by a pitch from Minnesota Twins right-hander Jeff Hoffman. Just an early spring training bump for the 36-year-old who is still seeking his first hit in eight spring at-bats.
The 36-year-old McCutchen has started the spring by going hitless in his first eight at-bats. The season is long, and Cutch will make his share of contributions to rebuilding a losing culture.