Pirates claim Canaan Smith-Njigba off waivers, put JT Brubaker on the 60-day IL

Canaan Smith-Njigba is once again a member of the Pirate organization

Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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After designating him for assignment less than a month ago, on Monday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Canaan Smith-Njigba off waivers

After designating him for assignment on January 31st, the Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba off waivers. This comes one day after Smith-Njigba was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners.

To make room for Smith-Njigba on the 40-man roster, pitcher JT Brubaker was placed on the 60-day injured list. As Brubaker continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery last April, seeing him land on the injured list to start the season is not a surprise.

Odds are, if the Pirates make any additions to the roster between now and Opening Day it could once again spell doom for Smith-Njigba. He has already been designated for assignment once by the team this offseason, and every other team in baseball would have had to pass on him this time around in order for him to fall to the Pirates. So, he would appear to be a strong candidate to be taken off the roster if a spot is needed.

Smith-Njigba has flashed some good potential at the minor league levels for the Pirates, but his future is still in jeopardy. He likely does not have much of a chance at cracking the team's Opening Day roster the way he did last season.

At the Triple-A level last season Smith-Njigba hit .280, with an on-base percentage of .366 and a 110 wRC+. In 37 major league plate appearances last season, Smith-Njigba hit for a .125/.216/.219 slash line with a 43.2% strikeout rate.

In this small MLB sample-size, Smith-Njigba didn’t look too promising. However, the Pirates have been previously known to give extended looks to players such as Cole Tucker and Anthony Alford, neither of whom performed as well in the minors as Smith-Njigba.

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