Pittsburgh Pirates: Club Outrights Two Players To Triple A

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 16: Ka'ai Tom #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a sacrifice fly ball to center field to score a run in the fourth inning during the game against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 16: Ka'ai Tom #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a sacrifice fly ball to center field to score a run in the fourth inning during the game against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have outrighted two players to Triple-A Indianapolis after designating them for assignment earlier this week.

With the struggles that two low risk, higher upside players in Anthony Alford and Fowler to start the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Ka’ai Tom off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Tom was a rule five pick from the Cleveland Indians because of his success in Triple A in 2019, where he hit .298/.370/.564 with his .266 isolated slugging being of interest. He struggled with the Oakland Athletics, where he hit .063/.063/.063 and didn’t hit much better with the Pirates, a slash of .152/.308/.261.

The thing that stood out with Tom was his eye, as he posted a 14.5 percent walk rate with the Pirates. The power he showed in 2019 was not there, just a .109 ISO, and really limited him at the plate. The left fielder also made a few blunders defensively. As a result of his play, Tom was designated for assignment on Monday. He was outrighted yesterday to Triple-A Indianapolis.

A similar story can be said for John Nogowski, who was acquired for cash from the St. Louis Cardinals. With Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez both injured, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed a first baseman. Nogowski was hitting .195/.304/.297 with St. Louis’ Triple-A club before being designated for assignment and then traded to the Pirates.

The first baseman got off to a hot start in Pittsburgh, batting .348/.419/.485 in his first 17 games. However, he has since cooled down and for the Pirates on the year is hitting just .261/.325/.351. He still has value as a depth first baseman if Moran is to get injured again, and like Tom, Nogowski was designated for assignment on Monday before being outrighted to Indianapolis on Thursday.

Next. Lonnie White Assigned to FCL. dark

With Tom and Nogowski both clearing waivers and being outrighted, they’ll remain in the Pirates organization. Both players can serve as depth as a backup outfielder and first baseman, and both players showed some ability to walk. Neither player was going to develop into a star, especially given the age, but could’ve made for serviceable depth. The results speak for themselves and it was time to move on at the Major League level.

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