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Daniel McCutchen

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Daniel Thomas McCutchen

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[edit] Biographical Information

Daniel McCutchen is a pitcher who made his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009.

[edit] High School and College

McCutchen was 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA as a senior in high school and hit .357 with a .407 OBP and 17 steals. He was named All-City. He also played football.

McCutchen began his college career at Central Oklahoma, going 4-0 with 3 saves and a 2.76 ERA and striking out 38 in 28 innings. Transferring to Grayson Community College, he struck out four batters in two innings and won one game before injury struck and he was redshirted. His team finished third in the nation. The New York Yankees took McCutchen in the 27th round of the 2003 amateur draft.

Transferring to the University of Oklahoma, Daniel went 4-3 with 5 saves and a 3.47 ERA and struck out 60 in 57 innings. He was Honorable Mention All-Big 12 Conference, tying for 4th in the Conference in saves. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays picked him in the 28th round of the 2004 amateur draft. In the summer of 2004, McCutchen toiled for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, posting a 5-1, 1.58 record. He finished 9th in the Cape Cod League in ERA and held opponents to 32 hits in 45 2/3 IP.

In 2005, Daniel was 4-5 with 2 saves and a 4.18 ERA, striking out 84 in 84 innings and making the transition to starting pitching during the season. He again was Honorable Mention All-Conference. The St. Louis Cardinals became the third team to draft him, doing so in the 12th round of the 2005 amateur draft; again he didn't sign. Spending a second summer with Yarmouth-Dennis, McCutchen was 3-6 with a 3.43 ERA and fanned 63 in 60 1/3 IP to lead the club in Ks, while only walking 12 batters.

McCutchen had a 10-8, 4.06 record with one save in 2006 for Oklahoma, striking out 147 in 148 2/3 IP. He easily led the Big 12 in strikeouts, 44 more than the runner-up and 45 ahead of #3 Joba Chamberlain. McCutchen was 6th in NCAA Division I in strikeouts but inexplicably got left off the leaderboard in the 2007 Baseball Almanac. Only Tim Lincecum, Eddie Degerman, P.J. Walters, David Price and Brad Lincoln fanned more.

McCutchen was chosen by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2006 amateur draft and signed with scout Mark Batchko.

[edit] Minor leagues

The right-hander split his pro debut between the Staten Island Yankees (1-0, 1.13, 11 K, 4 H in 8 IP) and the Charleston RiverDogs (1-0, Sv, 2.14, 13 H, 18 K in 21 IP). He was suspended for 50 games for using a performance-enhancing substance. McCutchen said that it was a medication for attention deficit disorder.

In 2007, the former Oklahoma hurler impressed with the Tampa Yankees (11-2, 2.50, 21 BB, 86 H in 101 IP) and Trenton Thunder (3-2, 30 H, 36 K in 41 IP). He tied Grant Duff for second in the Yankees minor leagues in wins, trailing Jeffrey Marquez by one and was third in the system in ERA. Baseball America rated him as having the best control in the Florida State League. Had he qualified, McCutchen would have been second in the FSL in ERA behind Josh Outman. He made the FSL All-Star team, one of 6 pitchers selected.

McCutchen opened 2008 with the Thunder and was 4-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 53 innings. He was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and went 4-6 with a 3.58 ERA and 11 walks in 70 1/3 IP. McCutchen was then traded with José Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf and Jeff Karstens to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. He finished the season with the AAA Indianapolis Indians, going 3-3, 4.69 in 8 starts.

He was back with the Indians to begin 2009 and pitched very well, going 13-6, 3.47 in 24 starts with 110 strikeouts in 142 2/3 innings. To that point, he was among the top 10 in the International League in ERA and tied with Justin Lehr for first in wins.

[edit] Major Leagues

McCutchen was originally slated to pitch for Team USA in the 2009 Baseball World Cup and had even been announced on their final roster. After initially agreeing to have him play in the event, the Pirates decided that they would rather have him in the majors in September and sent Brad Lincoln to Team USA in return.

McCutchen received the call-up to Pittsburgh in late August 2009 and made his debut on August 31, starting against the Cincinnati Reds; he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings and was not involved in the decision. In Pittsburgh, he reunited with namesake Andrew McCutchen, called up to the Show earlier in the season and already one of the Pirates' best hitters. Daniel had a solid 1-2, 4.21 record in six starts for the 2009 Pirates.

Despite his good work in '09, McCutchen was slated to begin 2010 in the minors. In spring training, though, he won a battle with Kevin Hart for the 5th spot in the rotation. He did not last long, going 0-2 with a 14.73 and 5 homers in 11 innings over 3 starts, before being demoted to AAA in favor of Hart. In the third outing, Pittsburgh lost 20-0, for the worst margin of defeat in the 119-year history of the franchise.

The Pirates released McCutchen after the 2012 season and he signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles soon after. He did not make the team out of spring training in 2013, being assigned to the AAA Norfolk Tides. On April 6th, he was handed a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for violating baseball's drug policy, his second such suspension. He had tested positive for Methenolode and a metabolite of Trenbolone, both steroids.

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