On Friday evening the Pittsburgh Pirates made a move to add some potential depth to their infield, which has been ravaged with injuries throughout the early going of the 2021 season
Friday evening the Pittsburgh Pirates made a move to add to their organization infield depth. This move came when they added TJ Rivera via a minor league contract, which, according to Jon Heyman, is pending a physical.
Rivera is a 32-year-old utility man who has played first base, second base, third base and left field in his career. He was originally signed by the New York Mets back in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Troy University.
Rivera spent five years in the minors before getting the call up to the Major League level in 2016. He only lasted in the Majors until 2017, due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. While his time was short in the Majors, Rivera showed flashes of potential.
In the combined two seasons of MLB play Rivera hit for a .304/.335/.445 slash line with a WRC+ of 109, which shows that he was just above average, in 344 plate appearances. Additionally, he had a WAR of 1.4, which is not too bad.
His most recent playing time was back in 2019 for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, which is in the Nationals system. In 41 plate appearances with the Senators, Rivera batted .237, which is not all that great. He did, however, hit .300 with runners in scoring position.
As the season progresses Rivera could become helpful to the Pirates, as over the last 12 games the team as a whole is batting slightly over .100, which is costing them wins this season. While Rivera may not be a star player, he defintly could find his role here as a utility man if he can perform like he did before his Tommy John surgery in 2017.