NL Central: A midseason 2022 front office assessment

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16: David Stearns President of the Milwaukee Brewers before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field on April 16, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16: David Stearns President of the Milwaukee Brewers before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at American Family Field on April 16, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Ypshi Tsutsugo. Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Ypshi Tsutsugo. Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Pirates front office, -6.1

Ben Cherington may be slowly building the core of a contender in Pittsburgh. This season he’s added shortstop Oneil Cruz and outfielder Jack Suwinski to Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds. But the larger process remains frustrating.

Cherington’s moves involved 38 major league players, only 11 of whom have produced value that favored the Pirates. Most (23) of the remainder came at Pittsburgh’s expense.

Here are the five most impactful.

June 17: Cam Vieaux is a rookie left-handed callup from Indianapolis who got pounded in literally one game, for the moment utterly coloring his stats. On July 1 Vieaux was called upon for mop-up duty in what at the time was a 9-2 beatdown by the Brewers. He faced 13 batters, nine of whom either hit safely or walked. Vieaux left that game with a -1.4 WAA for the season.

Nov. 29: The Pirates traded catcher Jacob Stallings to Miami for two minor leaguers and pitcher Zach Thompson. The key figure is Stallings, who has been a bust with the Marlins. He’s batting .194 with a .507 OPS and just two home runs, equating to a -1.3 WAA.

Nov. 29: On the same day as the Stallings deal, the Pirates re-signed Yoshi Tsutsugo, who they had released just three weeks earlier.   A .268 hitter in  his first season with the Pirates, Tsutsugo has so far struggled through his worst season of a three-year career in the majors, batting just .177 in 35 games. Tsutsugo’s WAA measures -1.1.

Nov. 30: The Pirates let Chad Kuhl walk. He eventually signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he has come into his own with a 3.83 ERA in 15 starts. It works out to a +1.1 WAA benefitting Colorado. The Pirates could have used that.

Next. Assessing the AL Central GM moves. dark

April 7: A middle infield 2021 trade deadline pickup from the Yankees, Diego Castillo made the opening day roster and has stuck. But it’s been a slow start. In 209 plate appearances Castillo has managed just a .195 average, although that is partially offset by eight home runs. The big problem has been strikeouts, 55 of them in 209 plate appearances. It amounts to a -1.0 WAA.