Prior to the start of Monday night’s game in Los Angeles the Pittsburgh Pirates added the recently signed Yoshi Tsutsugo to the active roster and designated John Nogowski for assignment
Monday night, the Big Nogowski Era ended. Prior to the start of the first game of three-game series in Los Angeles the Pittsburgh Pirates designated Nogowski for assignment. This was done in order to create a roster space for Yoshi Tsutsugo who the Pirates signed on Sunday.
In 303 MLB plate appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers the past two seasons Tsutsugo has hit for a .181/.291/.315 slash line with a 74 wRC+. Tsutsugo’s best trait is his ability to draw walks, owning a lifetime 13.2% walk rate. Although, his 29.4% career strikeout rate is above league average.
Tsutsugo can play first base, third base and the corner outfield spots. This positional flexibility likely played a role in the Pittsburgh Pirates giving him a roster spot over Nogowski who could only play first base and, potentially, some right field.
As for Nogowski, he got off to a hot start with the Pirates but came crashing back down to earth. He was hitting just .127/.200/.175 with a wRC+ of 7 in his last 70 PAs. This came after Nogowski started his Pirate career hitting .404/.456/.538 with a 172 wRC+ in his first 57 PAs with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nogowski’s cult hero status in Pittsburgh came form him have a very nice jersey number, his hot start at the plate, making multiple outings as a pitcher in blowouts, and, of course, his scuffle with Marcus Stroman. That was the night he solidified himself with yinzers as it led to seemingly 90% of Pirates Twitter getting blocked by Stroman.
Whatever comes next for Nogowski we certainly wish him all the best in his future endeavors. As for Tsutsugo, it will be interesting to see what he can do with the Pirates and what he can bring to the table.