According to White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone, one of the reasons former Chicago Cubs utility man Zach McKinstry was relieved when he parted ways with Chicago is because the team wanted him to pull the ball and hit for power.
If this rumor is true, it would be very strange considering McKinstry has just 16 home runs in his entire big-league career. His bread and butter is spraying the ball around the field with his compact swing, which is what he has been doing to perfection with the Detroit Tigers. In 122 at-bats with the Tigers this year, McKinstry is slashing .295/.409/.451 with a wRC+ of 146. He has also swiped 10 bases and scored 23 runs while playing all over the diamond.
McKinstry showed signs of being a decent bench hitter during his tenure with the Cubs, but prior to the beginning of the season, they decided to trade McKinstry to the Tigers for RHP Carlos Guzman who currently plays for the Tennessee Smokies. Miles Mastrobuoni took up the utility man role that McKinstry was destined for, but so far, it’s looking like the Cubs chose the wrong guy as Mastrobuoni has been pretty lackluster at the plate with just 7 hits and 1 RBI. Whether the Cubs wanting McKinstry to hit for power is true or not, you can’t argue against the fact that the Cubs probably should have held on to the guy over Mastrobuoni but hey, hindsight is 20/20.
The Cubs acquired McKinstry from the Dodgers at the 2022 trade deadline in exchange for setup man Chris Martin. The next time the Cubs will see McKinstry is when the Cubs travel to Comerica Park in August unless the Tigers ship him somewhere else at this year’s deadline.