The Pirates are calling up outfield prospect Cal Mitchell, reports Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic (Twitter link). Mitchell isn’t on the 40-man roster, so he’ll need to have his contract formally selected (unless he’s being brought up specifically as a Covid-related substitute player). Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster is full at the moment, so they’ll need to make at some corresponding moves. It seems likely there’s a set of transactions on the horizon, as it was reported Sunday that right-hander Roansy Contreras was also being brought back to the big leagues — and Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted last night that a locker is indeed set up for Contreras.
Mitchell, 23, was the No. 50 overall draft pick back in 2017. He’s had something of a slow developmental arc and hasn’t been considered among the Pirates’ top tier of prospects. Prior to the season, he ranked 22nd among Bucs farmhands at Baseball America, 25th at MLB.com and 37th at FanGraphs. However, Mitchell’s early work in 2022 has surely elevated his status. So far in 2022, he’s hitting for more power, striking out far less and running more often (and more successfully) than in any season of his professional career.
Prior to 2022, Mitchell had never reached an .800 OPS and was generally an above-average but not excellent hitter, by measure of wRC+. This year, however, Mitchell has stormed out of the gate with a .306/.362/.500 batting line (128 wRC+) through his first 138 plate appearances. He’s homered five times and connected on nine doubles, and the resulting .194 ISO (slugging percentage minus batting average) is the best of his career by 39 points. He’s also gone a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases, already tying his career-high total, and has fanned in just 14.5% of his plate appearances — well south of his prior rate of 22.4%.
Mitchell has spent the vast majority of his professional career playing right field (2797 innings), though he’s also logged 488 frames in left field and 27 in center. The Bucs have gotten solid production from Ben Gamel in left field, so he’s unlikely to be displaced, barring injury. Over in right field, rookie Jack Suwinski has struggled to the tune of a .182/.232/.377 batting line in his first 82 big league plate appearances.
Can’t hurt. Can definitely help. Excited to see what he can do.
They should call up some TV announcers too. Greg Brown and Bob Walk SUCK!!!
Agreed but so does everyone else they have including Neil Walker. He does that stutter thing ever time he speaks. It’s so annoying.
Mitchell was to be added to 40 man in the fall, rewarding him for solid performance in AAA is a good move.
A lot of knowledgeable Pirates fans were glad the rule 5 draft was canceled this year because he probably would’ve been taken.
Wonder if they knew it’s be cancelled? They left some hood folks off
I think it simply had more to do with having too many eligible guys to protect them all, but if you look at those lists now, or probably even then, i would have protected Mitchell over at least a couple of other names.
Ditch Hembree.He of the BB,K or HR
No Mitchell wasn’t should been
I think Tuckers time is about up
A little excitement in the Steel City with Mitchell and Contreras, as Cruz bides time. Keep it coming.
I’d imagine VanMeter will be gone as one of the moves or Suwinski sent to AAA .
Or Rodolfo Castro. I wish there was a edit button on the app….
I think it’ll involve a DFA of either VanMeter or Yoshi… or at least I hope. Mitchell isn’t on the 40 man so someone will need to be removed from the 40 man and the Pirates aren’t going to risk losing Suwinski or Castro.
I believe they need to drop a pitcher and add a fielder by the 30th unless they extended the 14 pitcher limit again. I can see Hembree gone.
Doubt it’s VanMeter since he’s that underachieving journeyman Pirate managers always seem to relish and the Pirates always seem to carry only three outfielders so it probably will be Suwinski.. I find it odd that the Pirates can’t figure out in their case they should play guys at their best positions for defense since they can’t score runs.
Doubt it’s Yoshi either because he’s guaranteed the remainder of his $4 million and the Pirates aren’t in the business of paying players to play for other teams.
At some point they have to decide what to do with VanMeter. He hasn’t hit and even if they send Castro down first when Newman comes back they will have a logjam in the middle IF. Chavis and Castillo can handle 2B and both have out hit VanMeter.
@rsox. I forgot about Yoshi. He’d be a release move for some larger market teams at this point. But you’re right that’s typically not the Pirates modus operandi.
The team needs to clear a 40 man spot for Mitchell and moving Suwinski down won’t do that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they dfa Cole Tucker since he isn’t hitting in AAA either so it’s doubtful anyone claims him.
They’ll probably DFA someone like Beede. That clears both a 40-man and 26-man roster spot. Kill two birds with one stone. That does rid themselves of a pitcher, but not one that they probably were planning on keeping around.
I was thinking Hembree if it is going to be a pitcher. I could see it since they just called up Contreras and de los Santos but still think it’s going to be a position player.
That would not surprise me either. He is 0 for AAA this year.
They should call up Ji-Hwan Bae and straight release VanMeter. Bae has hit at every level and deserves the call.
I remember hearing a pre-season interview where Cherington talked about it taking two, even three, months to evaluate what players on the roster fit into certain future roles and what skill sets certain minor league players needed to demonstrate before they were promoted. I like that he has been as truthful and transparent as he can be to the public, but even more happy that any backlash, provoking or divisiveness directed his way by social media, writers or fans has not derailed him from the overall plan. I expect that the next month will produce even more moves. It really stinks that the pandemic caused such delays to the development of players and the the plan, but I still like where things are tracking. You simply can’t be promoting, demoting or cutting bait with any player based on minimal sample sizes. There also shouldn’t be any player here that can say he didn’t get a fair shot from management. That plays well when looking to sign future talent on the open market.
You really hit the mail on the head of why I’ve been a fan of Cherington’s since day one. He has a plan, he articulates it clearly when asked, and he sticks to it. He seems to both understand and empathize with all of the fan frustrations but he doesn’t let that change his timetable. No panic moves.
You Can Put It In The Books
Seeing how the largest free agent contract the Pirates have ever given out was Liriano’s 3/$39M in 2015, I don’t think you have much to look forward to on the open market.
Free agency is a mine field. Control what they can control and develop those consistent high draft picks into regulars and some stars.
Yea, evaluate just long enough to make sure none of these prospects become a Super Two. Cherington can spin it however he wants, but he’s following ownership’s cheapness.
Just about every team does the same thing. Players have been coming up across the League to make their debuts over the last several days. It is not just a nutting thing. Several other guys that came up earlier have been shipped back by other teams when they were not producing so the same thing will happen with those guys too. They too will fall short of a year of service time to and avoid super 2 as well.
Exactly. You just notice it more when the Pirates do it because any supposed Super 3 “manipulation” isn’t being masked by flashy free agent signings or trades.
“Oh yeah, it’s all coming together”
Slowly but hopefully surely 🙂
Don’t call me Shirley
Why not? The Bucs stink. Fortunately, enough. the grave diggers in the in the broadcast booths have you in a coma by the second inning..
Considering they usually don’t have a ton of exciting things to talk about on the field many games, kind of hard to be upbeat all the time 🙂
Suwinski will be sent to Indy. Guys who think yoshi will be DFa obviously don’t understand “nuttingomics”
I believe it will be Hembree. They will need to drop a pitcher and add a bat by the 30th unless they push the deadline to move to 13 max active pichers again.
Hembree has 4 bad outings to every good one.
He was good to start the year and up through 4/24. went off the rails on the 26 and the up down and all around since.
Brown and Walk are a total snoozefest
Good Call up. has had some success at every level.
A guy like this, makes you wonder if he is a late bloomer or PEDs user
He’s 23 yrs old, which was 3-1/2 yrs younger than the average AAA player, 4-1/2 yrs younger in AAA last year.. At no single stop in his career was he even close to average age for his level.
You Can Put It In The Books
More interested in how he compares to the average AA player. There’s lifers on some of these AAA teams.
Bring up Ji-Hwan Bae and send Vanmeter packing while they’re at it with moves.
I’m going to be interested in the latest Pirates blue chipper to arrive. We keep hearing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel but truth be known, what we have seen so far provides little hope for a “competitive team” anytime soon.
Truth to power!