After stints with the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh’s favorite son returned home.
Yes, that’s right: the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen to a contract in the offseason, and he returned to PNC Park on Friday.
It’s the house in which he built so many great memories with the Pirates.
The crowd made sure to acknowledge their hero.
Andrew McCutchen receives a warm welcome back to PNC Park 👏
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 7, 2023
People absolutely love McCutchen in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates took him with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft.
He went on to make his MLB debut in 2009.
He developed into a star in the National League, where he won the MVP award in 2013.
McCutchen is also a five-time All Star (2011-15), a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2012-15), a Gold Glove Award winner in 2012, and took the Roberto Clemente Award in 2015.
Basically, the last two periods in which the Pirates went to the postseason were dominated by McCutchen and Barry Bonds.
They advanced to the playoffs in 2013-15, led by McCutchen, and in 1990 to 1992, with Bonds as their best player.
That’s what McCutchen means to the city and the franchise.
His role this time will be different.
He is no longer the star capable of hitting .300 with 25 homers and 20 stolen bases.
He is, however, an excellent hitter who has a keen eye at the plate and take walks like none other.
He is also a seasoned veteran who might have a thing or two to say about hitting and fielding.
His savvy and baseball knowledge make him a perfect candidate to “coach” some of the Pirates’ young studs, such as Oneil Cruz, Rodolfo Castro, and Ke’Bryan Hayes.
Hopefully they all blossom and gift “Cutch” one last unexpected postseason adventure.NEXT: Pirates Manager Comments On Slowly Turning Things Around