Pittsburgh Pirates: Outfield Changing with Anthony Alford Injury

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates brought in a former top100 prospect to play outfield.  He made an immediate impact, but will now miss the rest of the season.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates brought in Anthony Alford no one really knew what to expect. He was a former top 100 Prospect who was considered one of the most athletic and told the players in the minor leagues. But, his limited big league experience with the Toronto Blue Jays did not go well which led to him being placed on waivers and then hang up with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Alford quickly took advantage of the playing time he was given by hitting a home run in his first start. Alford went on to only play in four games with the team, but he showed off why the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ben Cherington wanted him. He showed pop in the bat, looked good in the outfield, and even stole home, a play that not a lot of players would have been able to make.

Unfortunately, Alford’s window of opportunity was slammed shut.  Once again, Alford was showing of his plus athleticism racing towards a ball in right-center field when he crashed into the wall.  He was removed from the game, and within a few innings it was announced that Alford had fractured his elbow.

This is obviously a really tough break for Alford and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  This was turning into a perfect scenario for both sides.  Alford and Cherington were both part of the Blue Jays Organization at the same time.  Obviously when he became available and was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, it showed that how much Cherington believed in Alford as a prospect.  On top of that, he was going to be afforded the opportunity to player everyday, or just thereabout.

Now, the outfield looks to be set for the remainder of the season.  Cole Tucker should take over as the team’s starting everyday center fielder once again.  It would be great to see Jared Oliva called up, but that does not seem likely at this point.  Furthermore, with Bryan Reynolds and Gregory Polanco starting in the corners, there will not be a lot of playing time to come by in the Bucs’ outfield.

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Overall, this is what many expected the outfield to be for the most part anyhow.  Alford came in here and showed that he not only has talent, but was also going to put in max effort.  That goes a long way, and for a lot of talented players eventually pays off.  It looks like the Bucs and Alford were able to make it work, hopefully the team believes in him enough to give him a chance next year.

Sunday morning, the Pittsburgh Pirates places Alford on the 45-day injured list. In the corresponding move, the team recalled outfield Jason Martin from their alternate training site in Altoona.