Hey McCutchen, Bring Back The Dreadlocks
Where has the real Andrew McCutchen gone? Is his mojo gone, because of his missing dreadlocks? Oh is he just in a really big slump?
Despite his home run on May 12th (which is a good sign), McCutchen has not looked like himself lately. The usual NL MVP frontrunner is losing the race, before it has began. Andrew McCutchen has batted .233 with 4 home runs and 22 RBI’s. Quite frankly, he should be doing much better. Fantasy owners are dropping him, trading him, benching him, but I tell you to stop now. McCutchen is a one-of-a-kind talent; he will eventually break out of his funk. Patience is the answer, especially with a struggling superstar. The end is near; hopefully his home run tonight is a step in the right direction.
The issue with McCutchen is a nagging knee issue that has bothered him all season and during Spring Training. As a result, his timing is off and he is having a difficult time loading back and exploding, using the power in his legs to connect with the ball. Jeff Sullivan explains this in his recent article,
“McCutchen, for his part, denies that his knee is the reason behind his problems. His manager apparently agrees with him, and McCutchen thinks it’s something mechanical. Scouts aren’t so sure, but it can be both an injury and something mechanical, since an injury would have mechanical effects. It seems like we’re looking at one of two things. McCutchen, perhaps, feels discomfort when he swings, because of an injury. Or McCutchen’s mechanics have just become off, maybe from previously trying to compensate for an injury. Could be McCutchen physically feels fine enough, and it’s just a matter of rewriting muscle memory.”
It seems like McCutchen is definitely working hard to correct the issue in his timing at the plate, while simultaneously, his tender knee needs time to heal. These two things are causing him to struggle, not the lack of dreadlocks. Bummer.
With just Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte leading the Pirates offense, something must be wrong. Where have the Pirates, who looked to be serious contenders in 2014, gone wrong? Could the subtraction of Russell Martin have such a huge effect on their offense? Probably not. What about the struggles of Josh Harrison, who broke out last year, and Gregory Polanco? Most likely. McCutchen is an integral part of the Pirates offense. Without him, they could be considered a last-place team. The Pirates are sinking, and the tide needs to be just right in order for them to catch a headwind and start sailing in the right direction.
Bright spots Garrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, and Marte are leading the Pirates, but there is no sign of McCutchen. Where could he be? Most likely in the trainer’s room, searching for every possible solution to heal his knee, or also in the batting cages, trying to get his timing down. Clearly something is up with Andrew McCutchen, and it doesn’t take a detective to figure it out. We can only sit and wait for him to bounce-back and start hitting the baseball like an MVP-caliber player he usually is. Until then Pirate fans, endure the tough times. But on the bright side, they aren’t as bad as the Milwaukee Brewers!