Share This Page

Pirates notebook: McCutchen honored as June NL Player of Month

| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 7:45 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen takes a deep breath during his at-bat in the first inning against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at PNC Park. McCutchen was named NL Player of the Month for June.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen singles during the third inning against the Diamondbacks Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at PNC Park.

Andrew McCutchen was named National League Player of the Month for June on Wednesday, the third time he's received the award.

“I'm definitely honored, grateful and thank God for the opportunity,” McCutchen said. “I was able to put forth a good month, and to be able to get the award is really good, but I definitely couldn't do it without my teammates. We're playing some good ball, and it's starting to show.”

The Pirates' center fielder led the league in extra-base hits with 12 doubles and eight home runs in 26 games. He tied for the lead in home runs and RBIs (25). He also had a .410 on-base percentage, a .343 batting average and five stolen bases.

Other candidates for the award were Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy and Scooter Gennett, and Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton.

McCutchen last won the award back-to-back in June and July 2012. He becomes one of just five Pirates position players (Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds) to win the award at least three times.

“I felt pretty good. I was definitely starting to get my extra-base hits and hit the ball for some power a little bit,” he said. “I was definitely feeling good throughout the month, and I'm just going to try to improve and get better as we go forward in July.”

Two ships passing

Ernesto Frieri was at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago for his layover en route to Pittsburgh from Kansas City after being traded by the Angels for Jason Grilli on Friday when he saw a face he recognized in the bathroom.

“It was still early for me, so I was like, ‘I need to throw some water on my face,' ” Frieri said. “I go in there, and the first thing I see is this guy with curly hair, and he was washing his hands, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I know this guy!' ”

Sure enough, it was Grilli, stopping for his layover from Pittsburgh to Kansas City.

“We both were laughing, and then after that we started talking,” Frieri said. “He said, ‘You know what? You're going to a great ballpark, great teammates, great coaches. You're going to love it over there. Great city. The people are amazing. You're going to have fun.'

“And I said, ‘You too, man. You're going to a great team. You're going to help, and you're going to have a lot of chances to be in the playoffs.' He seemed kind of sad, but we both understand this is business. This is baseball. One day you're here; the next day you're there. You just have to do your best wherever you go.”

Liriano nearing rehab

Left-hander Francisco Liriano threw a simulated game as scheduled Wednesday. Manager Clint Hurdle watched three of the four innings and said Liriano was working out of the windup and stretch and throwing all his pitches.

“Seemed to be no complications so far, so it's going well,” Hurdle said. “We'll see how he feels (Thursday) then map out a potential rehab assignment.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.