The Pittsburgh Pirates have the reigning National League MVP back in their lineup after activating Andrew McCutchen from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday and is batting third in the lineup.
McCutchen, 27, missed the minimum 15 days with the rib injury sustained the next day after he was plunked in the area by the Arizona Diamondbacks. That pitch was intentional after the Pirates hit Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman in the hand with a pitch, breaking his hand and ending his season.
At the time he was placed on the disabled list, McCutchen was hitting .311 with a .536 slugging percentage, 32 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 67 runs batted in and 17 steals. With McCutchen’s bid taking a hit this month as a result of the injury, it opened the door for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw to win the Cy Young and the MVP.
The Pirates held the NL’s second Wild Card spot, with a half game lead over the San Francisco Giants and were within striking distance of the Milwaukee Brewers, trailing the Brew Crew by 2.5 games in the competitive NL Central at the time he was placed on the DL.
Currently, the Pirates are six games back of the Brewers in the Central and are two games out of the Wild Card, trailing the St. Louis Cardinals and Giants. The Atlanta Braves are one game ahead of them as well as McCutchen will look to help snap the Pirates six-game losing streak.
Pittsburgh has gone 2-8 in their last 10 games and if McCutchen can get them back in the playoffs, look for his name to pop back up in MVP conversations.