Kevin Newman bounces again in 2022, going through massive offseason

October 2, 2022

ST. LOUIS — The Pirates can have a plethora of choices to make this offseason. A kind of choices will revolve round Kevin Newman.

Newman, who reached base twice and made a diving cease within the Pirates’ 13-3 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday at Busch Stadium, will enter his second yr of arbitration this offseason. The 29-year-old has rebounded from a tough season, however with Pittsburgh’s center infield taking form, the Pirates’ brass should decide if Newman returns to the fold.

“On the finish of the day, I actually attempt to steer away from issues that aren’t my resolution by way of giving any thought and time to,” Newman mentioned.

Newman entered this season because the staff’s beginning shortstop, a spot he had largely held since his first full season in 2019. Across the season’s midway level, Newman’s position started to shift.

In June, Oneil Cruz made his much-anticipated arrival and have become the staff’s beginning shortstop. Newman seamlessly slid over to second base upon Cruz’s call-up, however in current weeks, Rodolfo Castro has emerged because the staff’s beginning second baseman. Castro has been one of many Pirates’ greatest gamers since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis in early August, slugging 10 residence runs in his previous 46 video games, and that efficiency has resulted in Newman seeing much less taking part in time.

Moreover, there are additionally a number of prospects who aren’t too removed from the Majors in Liover Peguero and Nick Gonzales, the Pirates’ No. 4 and No. 5 prospects per MLB Pipeline, respectively. Catcher Endy Rodriguez, who has compelled his approach into the dialog for the 2023 Opening Day with an absurd three-month scorching streak within the Minors, began 17 video games at second base this yr as nicely.

Even with the youth motion, the Pirates don’t essentially have to half methods with Newman, who has bounced again from a forgettable season. A yr faraway from posting a .574 OPS, the bottom of any certified hitter, Newman is posting a way more respectable .695 OPS.

“It actually feels good, and going into the offseason, it’s going to be about taking one other step ahead, constructing on it, getting a little bit bit higher on each offense and protection,” Newman mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly feeling to bounce again this fashion.”

In fact, there’s additionally the monetary factor of this equation.

Newman is about to enter his second yr of arbitration. He made $1.95 million in his first yr of arbitration — MLB Commerce Rumors projected Newman to make $2.2 million — and he’s in line to clear the $2 million mark this offseason. The query that the Pirates should reply, then, is whether or not they would need to spend that cash for somebody who isn’t beginning.

Newman mentioned that the considered carrying a special uniform subsequent season has entered his thoughts, however he’s kicking that may down the highway for proper now. The Pirates nonetheless have 4 video games remaining, and people 4 video games will probably be his major focus.

“It’s undoubtedly a thought, however I’m pushing it off so long as I can,” Newman mentioned. “I undoubtedly love being right here. I like the employees, love my teammates, love all the things.”