Sadly, the experiment didn’t work, as he only spent 12 games with the big-league club. In 31 plate appearances, Tsutsugo only had three hits, which were all singles. He also struck out 12 times, which is just under 40 percent of the time.
The Dodgers placed Tsutsugo on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain on June 9. He was then sent on a rehab assignment to Oklahoma City, where he turned into one of the best hitters in the minors.
He played in 43 games in Triple-A, posting an OPS of .868. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 32 runs while having nearly as many walks (26) as strikeouts (32). He really was figuring things out at the plate during the summer. From July 1 through the middle of August, Tsutsugo was hitting .317 with an OPS of 1.000. He had 7 home runs and 27 RBI during that stretch as well.
Instead of calling him back up to the big-league club, the Dodgers released Tsutsugo. He was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he appeared to have figured things out at the big-league level. In 43 games with the Pirates, he posted an OPS of .883 and hit eight home runs and drove in 25 runs.
With the lack of bats the minors were able to provide throughout the season, seeing Tsutsugo succeed with the Pirates certainly hurt to see.
Stats: .120/.290/.120/.410, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 2 R, 18 OPS+, 36 wRC+, 38.7 K%
Game of the year
On May 23, Tsutsugo drove in a run with a single. He had only three hits with LA and drove in two runs, so this was his shining moment with the club.
Tsutsugo is currently on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He recently signed a one-year, $4 million deal to return to Pittsburgh.