If the Pittsburgh Pirates look to go the platoon route in their need for a right-handed hitting outfielder, then Chad Pinder could be a target in free agency
One need that general manager Ben Cherington needs to address this offseason is the outfield. With the Pittsburgh Pirates having a glut of left-handed hitting outfields, any outfielders they add this offseason would, preferably, be right-handed hitting.
Due to this, going the platoon route for one of the corner outfield spots is something the Pittsburgh Pirates could look to do. If this would be the route the Pirates go then former Oakland A’s outfielder Chad Pinder could be a fit in free agency.
Last season, Pinder hit for a .235/.263/.385 slash line with a wRC+ and an OPS+ of 86 in 379 plate appearances. He had a strong 40.7% hard-hit rate, which was nearly 5% higher than the league average of 35.8%. While these overall numbers certainly leave a lot to be desired, Pinder did hit left-handed pitching well.
In 158 PAs against left-handed pitching last season Pinder hit for a .260/.280/.447 slash line with a 108 wRC+. His isolated slugging (ISO) against lefties was .187, and he hit 7 home runs to go with 7 doubles.
Hitting left-handed pitching well has always been a theme for Pinder’s career. Pinder has 756 career PAs against lefties. In his MLB career, Pinder has hit for a .264/.322/.456 slash line with a .192 ISO and a wRC+ of 114. He has 31 career home runs against lefties, 37 doubles, and an extra base hit rate of 9.1%.
In addition to being able to play the outfield, Pinder can also play all four infield positions. This would also add to Pinder’s potential value with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That said, his ability to be a super utility man should not take away from his ability in the outfield. In 2358.2 MLB innings in the outfielder, Pinder owns a career Defensive Runs Saved of +12 and an Outs Above Average of +7.
A right field or left field platoon of Jack Suwinski and Pinder is one that could be potent offensively. It could also be a very strong defensive duo. If Cherington, Derek Shelton, and the Pirates look to go the platoon route in right field, then Pinder should draw strong consideration in free agency.