Cal Mitchell is Getting Called Up to Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to call up outfielder Cal Mitchell, according to Rob Biertempfel, who first reported the news. Mitchell has hit for a .307/.362/.500 line in Indianapolis this year over 138 plate appearances.

This performance came after the Pirates opted to leave Mitchell off the 40-man roster this offseason. Ultimately, that didn’t have any negative impacts, as the Rule 5 draft was cancelled. However, when it came to decision time, the Pirates left Mitchell available for any team to take, while protecting Travis Swaggerty, Canaan Smith-Njigba, and Jack Suwinski. The latter is in Pittsburgh now, while the first two were Mitchell’s teammates in Indianapolis.

It’s a big testament to Mitchell that he was able to fully earn this promotion, and it’s a sign of how he’s been able to work his way back up the depth chart. He’s always had a lot of raw power, as well as solid plate patience and contact skills. He’s not a flashy guy in any one area of his game, but he also doesn’t really have any glaring weaknesses as a corner guy. He gives you consistency, when his bat is at its best, capable of keeping things going after the middle of the lineup does damage. Mitchell is having his best statistical season this year, at the highest level of the minors.

We’ve written about Mitchell a lot this year, for good reason. I started by writing about his power potential, and how he was seeking earlier pitch recognition and quicker decisions at the plate. Our Indianapolis writer, Ryan Palencer, had an update on Mitchell three weeks ago in our Indianapolis update.

Cal Mitchell is fast now

From Ryan’s article:

“I am feeling good at the plate,” Mitchell said. “I feel like I am balanced and feel strong in my load and my swings. I am making hard contact early in the count, which is generally when the best pitches to hit are. I have been able to take advantage of those pitches early in the count.”

This approach has paid off early for Mitchell and put him on the doorstep for a promotion to Pittsburgh. His biggest challenge is that he is not yet on the 40 man roster. However, another month or two like he has put together so far, and Mitchell can show the fans in PNC Park just how fast he is now.

Mitchell will now get that chance.

PROSPECT WATCH

DAILY VIDEO RUNDOWN

PIRATES DISCUSSION

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agent00

pirates just continue to kick the can down the road. hembree and vogelbach to the IL. alldred dfa’d

PiratePrimate

Gee, you don’t wanna lose Heath, do you? And those moves
help keep Suwinski up, where he belongs.

Last edited 1 month ago by PiratePrimate
agent00

clearly he’s too valuable to lose. /rolls eyes

roibert.kasperski

The wait for the rest of the roster moves is getting unbearable!!!

docdon385

I’d like to see them bring guys up en masse so they can continue to play and develop together instead of needing to fit in with a lot of dead weight that can only hold things back. For example, I know Cruz is only hitting .197 in Indy but my goodness when he hits a ball it stays hit.

He crushed a line drive in the game today that hit half way up the batter’s eye and did it off a lefty who’s spent time with the Twins this year. I can already hear people saying Cruz and several other players aren’t ready yet, but every player has to eventually learn to hit major league pitching and as far as I know the only place to do that is in, uh, the major leagues. They’ll be a learning curve, but let’s get it started.

emjayinTN

Very well stated. Sometimes kids hit better at AA and not as well at AAA or vice versa. And then there is always the “it may cause problems if they are rushed to the majors.” I would advocate a different approach and that is to expose them and see the results, such as St Louis did with Gorman and Liberatore over the weekend. Liberatore pitched well and is now back at Memphis. Gorman may stay longer, but he will eventually return to Memphis also.

A good example is Rodolfo Castro who got a chance last year and he developed a lot more of his game over the off season, such as cutting down on his number of K’s in the DWL.

agent00

yet again. i’ve never seen a team that takes so long to come to decisions about the roster/lineup. two hours before gametime, and we don’t know how’s going out for contreras and mitchell. it’s truly bizarre. it shouldn’t take this long

roibert.kasperski

The decisions have long been made. A staffer askes if they should issue the press release and was given the Capt. Rex Kramer respons, “ No… that’s just what they’ll be expecting us to do.”

Our collective response:

Last edited 1 month ago by roibert.kasperski
agent00

hour to go…still nothing. lmao

jon6er

They’ll have to forfeit pretty soon, lol.

Wilbur Miller

Apparently Mitchell will be in the lineup.

dbsteel

What’s ticking me off is Castillo never plays, while I get to see the freaking Josh Van Meter show.

PiratePrimate

Any day now, Josh is gonna bust loose. River splash downs, solid run production, great glove. All Star. Steal of the decade for Cherington. “If you will it. It is no dream.” Walter Sobchak quoting Theodore Herzel

NMR

my bro, he’s on pace to play in more than 130 games and log more than 400 at bats.

redwards60

Its the Pirates way…..playing inferior veteran castoffs over their own prospects. This is just another in a long list of these type of scenarios, spanning two GMs. Given the team’s outlook for 2022, only a total moron would keep playing VanMeter on a regular basis – especially at the expense of a prospect. Or, it requires someone so stubborn and arrogant to save face over trading an asset for VanMeter.

MWT

I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that they don’t view him as anything more than a bench player going forward. They’ve shown a willingness to play young prospects when they get called up regardless of performance (Suwinski, Castro), which I’m actually pleasantly surprised by. But it kind of shows how they feel about Castillo and Chavis, IMO.

redwards60

and they consider VanMeter a potential star

NMR

Cal MitChell, Professional Hitter (TM)

PirateRican21

I’m sure Buck’n’Puck already file that trademark.

RAS TN

He needs to PLAY every day, and Suwinski needs to go back to AAA and PLAY every day to see him late this year and going forward…

redwards60

Looks like BC and team is finally swallowing their pride and realize they made some really bone-headed decisions, and are trying to save face and recover…..sending down Tucker and Park were a good start. DFA’ing Knapp was another good move, but they voided that by their bone headed to sign Heineman – instead of recalling Bins or Delay. Still lots of dead wood on their roster – a lot. Bryce Wilson, Hembree, Beede, Banda, Underwood, VanMeter, both catchers, Yoshi to name a few. Calling up Mitchell, Contreras, de los Santos are good moves….a month late, but good moves. DFA’ing VanMeter and replace with Bae would be another good move.

Suwinski has struggled, but I still have much greater confidence in him at the plate than VanMeter, Yoshi, Perez, Heineman, etc. He has shown enough to indicate that he can succeed at this level – he may just need more consistent playing time in AAA.

I sure hope BC and team is doing everything they can to patch things up with Cruz and get him going so he can be called up before the ASG – otherwise, they wasted 2022 for Cruz. After struggling early on, 21 year old Julio Rodriguez is really coming on for the Mariners – he belongs. Too bad the Pirates were so foolish to keep Tucker and VanMeter over Cruz….horrible decision, short term and potentially long term. If you are Cruz, do you have any interest in staying with the Pirates long term?

Last edited 1 month ago by redwards60
Stephen B

Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!

Mblee24

Next Martin for yoshi please!

Danatural08

FYI Steamer slash line prediction for Mitchel in MLB this year: .262/.317/.421 for a 110 wRC+

Stephen B

That’s a dead ringer for Nick Castellanos’ line so far (.256/.320/.417), 109 wRC+.

Of course, Castellanos’ line also comes with Castellanos’ glove, which means that particular shape is only worth .3 WAR, or a little over 1 in a full season. But that’s Nicky C and the Phils’ problem.

NMR

hot damn.

jaygray007

seems like a really good bet to be a pretty good hitter

Mblee24

Not bad!

jaygray007

Cal Mitchell checks every box i have as far as evaluating hitting prospects.

young(ish) for the level, great K rate (tells me a prospect is not overwhelmed and “deserves” a good batting average), really nice ISO (tells me a prospect is stinging the ball, regardless of batting average). I really think those three things are the most efficient way to *quickly* tell a prospect’s story.

Now, i really have no idea what his glove is looking like, but i’d be surprised if he didnt manage a wRC+ above 100 in the majors in his debut (assuming neutral luck), and significantly better long term.

I really think this is a good hitter.

MWT

You never hear anything about his defense, but I’m assuming “no news” is good news? If he was falling all over himself in right I’m sure it would’ve been reported by now.

Suwinski wasn’t rated well defensively and has really held his own, aside from that hiccup over the weekend. So hopefully Mitchell is status quo.

MWT

Marisnick to the 60-day perhaps?

Would like to see them go with Suwinski-Reynolds-Mitchell in the outfield, but wouldn’t be shocked if they flipped Suwinski to AAA in favor of Mitchell.

zebug

what are you doing with Gamel? He deserves to play. I think Suwinski goes back to Altoona, or actually right to Indy.

MWT

They had him taking reps at 1st before the game the other day.

zebug

ya I’m, wanting to limit the number of outfielders playing the infield and infielders playing the outfield lol. Suwinski could use more seasoning in the minors, his numbers are pretty bad at the MLB level. .608 OPS and 73 OPS+…the game doesn’t appear too big for him which is a great thing, he’s just not ready yet.

MWT

I’m right there with you haha. Unfortunately Shelton seems to enjoy playing people out of position so I wouldn’t be surprised.

jedeweese

Awesome for the young man. Who is leaving?

jedeweese

Suwinski or VanMeter/Tsutsugo?

redwards60

Yoshi or VanMeter hopefully

phieralph

And Mitchell was left off the 40 man and left to go through the Rule 5 draft. We lost Susler and Oviedo to Rule 5 this year while guys like Michael Perez, Can Meter, Tsutsugo, the whole roster.

Whatever. It’s a good thing. I’ll just be happy.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY EVER!!!!! FIRST YERRY AND NOW CAL!!!!

skliesen

C’mon now…the greatest day ever will be the day they finally call up Cruz to pepper the Allegheny with his Missiles!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

True. True. But given my unwavering cheerleading for Yerry and Mitchell over the years, this is a great day lol

csmyczek

This is exciting, could really use a player of his caliber in the corner outfield.

jon6er

Great for Cal he’s earned the chance to play at the next level.

Born4rf

I wonder if Castro didn’t injure his hand on that botched steal yesterday and is going on IR. prolly not a 60 day stint so I bet it’s Yoshi or Van Meter time to go.

Jeff

Contreras not officially added so they need to drop 2 pitchers by the 30th.

jon6er

I’m not sure Yoshi or VanMeter since the Pirates seem happy to carry only 3 outfielders while playing middle infielders who aren’t as versatile as they think in the outfield. There are infielders like Bae who are very capable of playing a good outfield defense but he’s still in Indy. Most likely Suwinski who might do well with some at bats in Indy.

jeffw3000

Bae is only in Indy temporarily. He may be next.

jon6er

I hope so the dude is fun to watch. He went from first to third on a double steal when the catcher threw it into leftfield and the fielder was able to get to the ball and foolishly threw home and the catcher didn’t even bother to go for the guy crossing the plate looked towards third and saw Bae standing there who scored on an infield groundout the next batter.

roibert.kasperski

They have to drop a pitcher by the 30th I believe and add a bat if my math is right on the roster. I could see Hembree going.

jeffw3000

That is correct. After 5/29, they can only carry 13 pitchers, and they currently have 14. Would like to see them dump either Beede or Hembree. Either one would work for me.

Wabbit_Season

Either way, that’s too many letter “e”s on the roster. Can clear off a half dozen of them.

Born4rf

Yes please!

roibert.kasperski

Bill

Special shout out to Greg Brown whose Sunday interview with Cherington made him look like a complete jackass and likely shamed the organization into fast-tracking moves like these. (If I had to guess, Rob Biertemfal’s Athletic article – read by Ben’s peers – in particular caused him to hit the roof). Phase 2: any ideas on how we now get Ogden Nutting’s attention on the reputational harm his clueless son is doing to the family name?

JoeNastasi

Everyone who pays attention at all “without the I hate Nutting glasses on” knew before the season started that these types of moves was going to happen at the end of May, beginning of June. But if it helps you, then please continue to throw hissy fits

Bill

If you don’t think MLB executives are sensitive to their reputations in national media outlets , please forgive my directness but that’s just plain naïve. Correct, they generally care less what local media or team bloggers write — but they very much care what their Google search looks like , this profession is their livelihood

ishman

If radio announcers and writers are having any affect on a GMs roster decisions, he should be removed immediately. It’s honestly quite laughable that one would even consider their comments have any bearing in GMBC roster moves.

roibert.kasperski

I agree. Guys from the minors have been moving up all over the league the last week to make their Big League debuts.

Last edited 1 month ago by roibert.kasperski
John Fluharty

I’m skeptical that one had anything to do with the other, but then I haven’t heard the interview so it’s hard for me to say for sure.

Bill

Now comes the part where Shelton only plays Mitchell sporadically, so that he never gets into a groove & gets sent back to Indy

John Fluharty

If he doesn’t play nearly every single day I’m going to put Shelton’s face on my commode lid.

roibert.kasperski

Shelton has played Suwinski a lot. Could be Jack heading down to play everyday in AAA

John Fluharty

I’d rather stick with him, but it’s certainly possible.

Wilbur Miller

I really hope not. He hasn’t been overwhelmed. He’s getting crushed by a .196 BABIP.

roibert.kasperski

I have said the same thing. He has been putting bat on ball and hitting it hard. Just at people. I really believe it will be a pitcher like Hembree or Beede. Don’t they have to drop a pitcher to get to 13 by Sunday anyway? If that is the case they solve that issue a couple days early.

Jeff

Contreras has not been added as of 1:00 pm yet so it will be 2 pitchers

roibert.kasperski

Beede and Hembree it is!!

JoeNastasi

I think so too, but someone has to come off 40 man. Gamel is definitely gone by deadline & yinzer nation’s collective minds will explode like he’s the 2nd coming of Dave Parker

Jeff

Perez has not been switched to 60 day IL yet. Probably he goes off for Mitchell

roibert.kasperski

Ah! Looked to quickly and thought he was a 60day and not 10. Good catch!

John Fluharty

Nice to see the upward movement starting to happen

Danatural08

Let’s hope good things for Cal & hope he can translate his early success. Looking forward to seeing that sweet lefty swing we’ve heard about for years

jeffw3000

Glad to see they are rewarding him for his consistency. Next up, Bae to replace Van Meter.

Wilbur Miller

Bae to replace Van Meter

That’s gotta be the easiest call of the century.

jon6er

Bae is a no brainer since outside of mlb experience he is everything VanMeter isn’t. I’m fairly certain Bae can reach the Mendoza line which VanMeter is struggling to get to just by beating out infield hits.

csmyczek

I certainly hope so, it’s time to drop the dead weight.

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