Entering Friday, Andrew McCutchen had played in 1,236 games for the Pirates in a nine-year major league career. Not once in that span did McCutchen start a game batting lower than the cleanup spot.
Friday night, though, McCutchen will bat sixth against the Mets ’ just the latest marker of the sudden downward turn the former National League MVP’s career has taken.
McCutchen has spent most of his career batting third, with 878 of his 1,221 big-league starts coming in that slot. He also has started in the leadoff spot 236 times, the No. 2 hole 78 times, and hit cleanup 29 times.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said earlier this month he was going to shy away from forecasting timelines for players returning from significant injuries. Apparently that means a gag order as well for Collins.
Injuries have been a massive problem for the Mets this season with Cespedes, Steven Matz (elbow), Seth Lugo (elbow), Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb), David Wright (shoulder), Jeurys Familia (shoulder) and Noah Syndergaard (shoulder) having missed significant time. The latter two players have come with severe criticism as both pitchers were cleared to throw, likely exacerbating their injuries.
We don’t have any reason to think it’s something we’re doing or not doing that causes injuries,’’ Collins told the Daily News. It’s not like we have five guys out with hamstring injuries. If that was the case, I’d say, ’Yeah, we need to take a look at the way we do things.’
But that’s not the case. And other teams have injuries too, by the way. It’s just the way it is in baseball.