Pittsburgh Pirates: Drew Maggi Optioned, Miguel Andújar Promoted
By Marty Leap
Even though he'll hang around for one more day as the team's 27th man for their doubleheader, the Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned Drew Maggi back to the minors while promoting Miguel Andújar
Through the first month of the MLB season the best story in the sport has been the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coming off four straight losing seasons, including back-to-back 100 loss seasons, the Pirates were once again expected to finish in the basement of the Natioanl League Central.
Well, through the first month of the season the Pittsburgh Pirates have been far from a basement dweller. 26 games into their 2023 campaign the Pirates are first place in the NL Central, and own a National League best 18-8 record.
For the feel good Pirates, the best feel good story on the team has been infiedler Drew Maggi. Maggi was drafted by the Pirates in 2010, and re-joined the organization last summer. This came after he was promoted to the majors by the Minnesota Twins in September 2021.
Even though Maggi was in the majors with the Twins, he never appeared in a game or got an at-bat. Due to this, Maggi was viewed as a "phantom player" entering the season. With Maggi having spent 13 seasons in the minors without ever appear in a MLB game, it appeared it may never happen.
Well, last Sunday he would get another opportunity. With Bryan Reynolds going on the bareavement list Maggi was promoted from Double-A Altoona. Maggi would then make his debut against the Los Angeles Dodger by pinch hitting on Wednesday and being in the starting lineup on Thursday.
During his long awaited MLB debut Maggi went 0-for-4 at the plate with a strikeout while playing third base. Even though Maggi, who got a standing ovation from the PNC Park crowd during his first AB on Wednesday night, went hitless, it was still one of the best stories of the early season.
Well, Maggi's time in the majors has once again come to an end... sorta. Ahead of Saturday's doubleheader at Nationals Park in Washington, Maggi was optioned back to Double-A Altoona. However, due to the team playing a doubleheader on Saturday he will remain active as the team's 27th player. So, Maggi will return to Altoona on Sunday.
To tkae Maggi's spot on teh active roster corner infielder/outfielder Miguel Andújar has had his contract selected from Triple-A Indianapolis. To make room for Andújar on the 40-man roster reliever Wil Crowe was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Andújar has more than earned a return to the majors. In 99 plate appearances at Triple-A this season Andújar hit for a .284/.364/.500 slash line to go with a 121 wRC+. He both walked and struck out at an 11.1% clip, hit 3 home runs, and had a .216 isolated slugging (ISO). Moving forward it will be interesting to see how Andújar is used, as he will likely at least factor in against left-handed pitching.