Pittsburgh Pirates: Miguel Andújar's Potential 2023 Role

Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Miguel Andujar (26)
Oct 5, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Miguel Andujar (26) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After being acquired from the New York Yankees late last season, what role could Miguel Andújar play with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2023?

For years it seemed destined that Miguel Andújar would be traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. One mock trade after another had Andújar going to the Pirates for one player or another. Well, after years of speculation he finally arrived in Pittsburgh last September.

Andújar was desiganted for assignment by the New York Yankees on September 22nd. Three days later, he was claimed off waivers by the Pirates. This gave Andújar an opportunity to finish the season with the Bucs.

Between the Yankees and Pirates the right-handed hitting Andújar hit for a .235/.257/.311 slash line with a wRC+ of 58 last season. He hit one home run, to go with an isolated slugging (ISO) of .076, a 3.6% walk rate, and a strikeout rate of 19.3%.

After being claimed off waivers by the Pirates, Andújar had 40 plate appearances with the team. In these 40 PAs he hit for a .250/.275/.389 slash line with a 78 wRC+. He had a 5.0% walk rate, 12.0% strikeout rate, and collected four extra base hits with three doubles and a triple.

Looking ahead to 2023, there is a role for Andújar with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If the team was not committed to giving him an extended look then, odds are, they would not have claimed him off waivers last season.

There is a real possibility that Andújar is simply a player in need of a change of scenery. That change of scenery could be Pittbsurgh. The only way to find out is to throw bulk at-bats at him during the 2023 season, at least early on in the season.

It would not be a surprise to see Andújar carve out a platoon role in 2023. Ji-Man Choi has struggled mightily in his carer against left-handed pitching, this could create a scenario where Andújar platoons with Choi at designated hitter, or first base, in 2023.

If Andújar struggles he will be replaced, but he ball will be in his court to hammer out a role with the team. The Pirates will give him plenty of opportunities to succeed, and if he takes the ball and runs with it he cna find a role with the squad.

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