As the 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. McCutchen approaches milestone:
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen currently sits at 1,997 hits for his career, just three away from becoming the 290th player in major league history to record at least 2,000 hits. Other active players who reached similar territory include Joey Votto, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Cabrera. McCutchen has recorded a trio of three-hit games so far this season, most recently on May 31 against the Giants. He’s gone hitless over his last two games, though he did draw three walks and connect for a game-winning sacrifice fly in last night’s win over the A’s.
It’s been a resurgent season for the 36-year-old veteran, who has slashed an excellent .271/.373/.442 in his return to Pittsburgh, good for a 124 wRC+. That mark would be his highest in a full season since 2015, when he was an All Star for the fifth time, won a fourth consecutive Silver Slugger award, and finished fifth in NL MVP voting. McCutchen will have another chance to reach the milestone this evening against the A’s and right-hander James Kaprielian.
2. Giants getting healthy:
The Giants open a series against the Rockies in Denver today, with right-hander John Brebbia expected to take the mound as an opener against Rockies righty Dinelson Lamet. San Francisco figures to welcome reinforcements for its starting lineup at some point during the three-game set, as Susan Sussler of the San Francisco Chronicle indicates that the club could welcome both lefty slugger Joc Pederson and infielder Thairo Estrada back from the injured list during the coming series.
The return of the duo would be a huge boost for the San Francisco lineup, as each is among the club’s top hitters alongside the likes of J.D. Davis, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Michael Conforto. Pederson has posted the stronger offensive numbers to this point, with a .235/.351/.494 slash (128 wRC+) in 97 plate appearances prior to going on the injured list last month, working exclusively as a designated hitter. Estrada has been similarly productive, slashing .301/.345/.466 (123 wRC+) in 206 plate appearances while contributing with the glove at second base, shortstop, and left field throughout the 2023 campaign.
3. MLBTR Chat Today:
With the calendar now flipped to June, the paths forward for many of MLB’s teams remain murky, even as some organizations set themselves apart from the pack.. If the events of the season so far have spurred any questions in your mind about your favorite team or the league as a whole, MLBTR’s Steve Adams is holding a live chat with readers at 1pm CT today. You can click here to ask a question in advance, join in live once the chat begins, or read the transcript once the chat is complete.