Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Mega-prospect Henry Davis finally got called up by the Pirates. He got drafted first overall in 2021 as a catcher. 

He played RF Monday night. 

Davis can play RF. But the Pirates’ primary offensive weakness is at catcher, where starter Austin Hedges has a putrid slash line of .172/.227/.238. 

Hedges is apparently staying in the lineup because of the positive effect he’s got defensively and handling the pitchers. I get that, even though opposition baserunners have stolen bases successfully against the Pirates 60 of 68 times. 

But it’s not what I would do. I would put Davis at catcher. That’s his position. Let him get better at it. That’s where his optimum value is. 

The Pirates need offense. Davis can hit. He doubled in his first MLB at-bat Monday. Using him instead of Hedges provides the biggest potential boost.

Davis should catch. 

The fans shouldn’t boo Hedges. 

23k showed up at PNC Park to see Davis' debut Monday. Not a bad crowd. Most of that 23k booed Hedges when he hit. 

Stop that. Don’t scapegoat Hedges. It’s as bad as blaming offensive coordinator Matt Canada for every problem the Steelers have. 

Boo Shelton for playing Hedges, and for not using Davis at catcher. But don't boo Hedges.

If you had been told before the season the Pirates would be 34-37 after 71 games, you’d have gladly taken that. Starting the year 20-9 provided a false dawn and has made what’s happened since very disappointing. 

But the Pirates are a work in progress. 

Most of you marks said to trust the process when the Pirates stumbled through consecutive 100-loss seasons in 2021 and ’22. 

So, trust it now. Don’t let a glimmer of glory at season’s start blind you to where the Pirates are really at, and what the timetable is. 

In the immediacy, the main issue is that Davis should catch. At the very least, put Davis behind the plate when Rich Hill pitches. Hill, 43, is in his 19th big-league season. He doesn’t need a guide dog. Hill can help school Davis.

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content

105.9 The X Podcasts

See All