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- As Andrew McCutchen finds himself struggling at the major league level, Austin Meadows has ripped the cover off the ball in the minor leagues. Meadows is riding a 22 game hitting streak in AA for the Altoona Curve. The Altoona media has already mentioned the possibility that Meadows will eventually replace McCutchen. The article can be found right here: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/blogs.detail/display/6507/Austin-Meadows-could-make-McCutchen-expendable-for-Pirates-in-a-couple-of-years.html
- ESPN wrote a column about it being the right time for Pittsburgh to trade McCutchen. That article can be found here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/16240984/timing-right-pirates-place-andrew-mccutchen-trade-market-mlb
- While both media outlets make fair points, it wouldn’t be wise to trade away their star centerfielder. Meadows isn’t MLB ready and he won’t be for at least another year. Before the hitting streak, Meadows was struggling to stay healthy and hit consistently. A few weeks in AA ball is just a start. Cutch consistently dominated in the minor leagues. Since he has been at the major league level, McCutchen has been one of the most reliable players not only for the Pirates, but for Major League Baseball. This is the first time in his career that he has had to deal with a bad start. The sad reality is that the Cubs are just so much better than the rest of the league that the Pirates are going to have to fight all season just to make the elimination wild card game. The summer officially begins in a few days and since McCutchen has been a Pirate, the team has traditionally dominated the summer months. The Pirates aren’t going to trade McCutchen this year or even next year. As long as Cutch wants to be a Pirate, the team will keep him. He is the face of the franchise and rightfully so.
Penguins should keep Fleury
- Matt Murray had a tremendous 2016 Stanley Cup playoff run. Murray is an extremely talented goaltender. But sometimes goalies get hot. The Stanley Cup playoffs have seen goaltenders like Murray come and go over the years. Often times unknown goaltenders can go on winning streaks. It’s the National Hockey League. Momentum changes often with goalie changes. Murray was in the zone. He will be a starter in the NHL. He won a Stanley Cup and that sure will give him confidence in the future. But Murray might not be a starting goaltender halfway through 2016-2017. Fleury will return to the Penguins despite the temptation to trade him away. The team can’t rely on Murray to go a full season. It’s one thing to prove yourself over a month and a half which Murray did but its an entirely different challenge to play 60 regular season games as the #1 and then do it all again in the playoffs. Realistically, the Pens know what they have in Fleury. I doubt the Pens part ways with either goaltender. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford loves depth at goaltender. If the Pens do trade a goalie, I would expect Murray to be the one traded. It will take a super aggressive offer for any trade scenario but Murray to me seems more likely than Fleury to be traded.
Steelers lucky to have Gradkowski
- Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB situation was completely bizarre. When Bruce Gradkowski went down, the team signed Mike Vick. When Vick went down, it was Landry Jones who had to step in. His preseason play had members of the Pittsburgh media doubting his ability. However in Week 6, Jones played brilliant against Arizona, and silenced those critics. Jones at least proved he could be a viable starting option for a week or two if something were to happen to starter Ben Roethlisberger. Now that Gradkowski appears to be healthy, he should have every chance to be the #2. Looking at NFL rosters heading into 2016, Gradkowski is one of the most reliable backups in the NFL. The position is scarce after the top 25 and Gradkowski would actually be competing for a starting job if he was on a few other rosters. The Steelers are lucky to have Gradkowski back healthy. Look for him to win the #2 job.
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