June 24, 2024

The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled to score, averaging less than 2 runs per game in their last 16 outings since their April 15th matchup against the New York Mets. With a dismal 3-13 record during this stretch, key everyday starters like Rowdy Tellez (.205), Andrew McCutchen (.188), Jack Suwinski (.168), and Henry Davis (.162) are batting below or dangerously close to the Mendoza line, collectively managing just six home runs.

Amid escalating calls for hitting coach Andy Haines’ job and no signs of improvement in the offensive department, the Pirates are overdue for a shake-up. While parting ways with their hitting coach so early in the season may be a bold move, the team has viable replacements waiting in the wings at Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.

One standout candidate for a roster change is first baseman Jake Lamb, who could step in for Tellez. The Pirates signed Tellez during the offseason with hopes of reviving his 30-homer potential from 2022. However, Tellez’s .552 OPS ranks as the third-worst on the team, a significant drop from his .667 clip that led to the Brewers non-tendering him.

Jake Lamb welcoming veteran role for Pirates

Similarly signed during the offseason, Lamb initially missed the big league cut in spring training. Despite being a seasoned MLB veteran with over eight years of service time, Lamb’s impressive performance in Indianapolis this year, boasting a .391/.481/.609 slash line with five doubles and three homers in 20 games, makes him a compelling option. Although Lamb’s career may be trending downward at 33 years old, his current batting prowess suggests otherwise.

To address the offensive slump, the Pirates could send Davis down to Triple-A in exchange for Yasmani Grandal and retain McCutchen, who typically starts slow but is showing signs of improvement. Given their past tolerance for Suwinski’s slumps, the Pirates might also keep him on the roster. Swapping Tellez for Lamb appears to be the logical move to inject some much-needed offensive firepower into the lineup.

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