Since he's "practically alone'' and they are tied for first with the Reds, that should automatically make him an MVP candidate. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp and most prominently lately Joey Votto of the Reds have been mentioned far more as MVP candidates, and even the Giants' Melky Cabrera has, too. But McCutchen, only 25, needs a much closer look now.â†µ
With Kemp still out with a hamstring injury, a lot of folks are going to favor Votto, and that is understandable. But let's not disregard McCutchen's all-around game and ability to lift a far lesser team than the Reds to equal heights.â†µ
To Heyman's credit, he owns up to questioning McCutchen's offseason contract extension, an obvious bargain at the time. To his discredit, that he did so in the first place strongly suggests that he doesn't know what he's talking about. I don't think any intelligent analyst is going to take his or her cues about who the MVP should be from Jon Heyman. (Besides, I think Votto's off-the-charts hitting pretty clearly gives him a better case at this point.) But it's interesting that McCutchen's star has risen to the point where he's now in the midst of this kind of talk. Pirates fans have always loved him, of course, but the national press has underrated him, probably due to the fact that he plays for the Pirates. That might be changing.â†µ
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