The Pittsburgh Pirates made the roster moves official that we heard after Wednesday night’s game. Alen Hanson has been designated for assignment. Gift Ngoepe has been optioned back to Indianapolis (this happened yesterday). As reported here by Brian Peloza on Wednesday, both Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin have rejoined the Pirates and will be available for tonight’s game against the New York Mets.
The DFA for Hanson is quite surprising, but his struggles, plus the limited playing time last year and this year given to him by Clint Hurdle, may work to the advantage of the Pirates. Hanson has the tools and youth on his side, but he has no Major League success and he’s out of options, so any team that picks him up would have to keep him in the majors. The obvious way around that would be for the team to pick him up and then immediately they try to get him waivers. Or a team could actually use him and see how he does while getting regular playing time for the first time in the majors.
If he can clear waivers, then that gives Hanson a chance to reestablish himself while getting regular playing time at Indianapolis. That would allow the Pirates to try to continue to develop a young player for the future, or give him a little trade value for a deal down the line. He’s worth more to a team if they aren’t forced to keep him on the 25-man roster, but he would need to regain some value first to be a trade asset.
Ngoepe really struggled at the plate after making quite an impression in his second big league game. In his last 25 games however, he had a .445 OPS and struck out in nearly 50% of his at-bats. The glove was as good as advertised and he does add value as a pinch-runner as well, but the bat will need to improve for him to have decent MLB value.
Both Gosselin and Moroff earned their promotions from Indianapolis by hitting well over the last month. Both players were up with the Pirates earlier in the season. Moroff had a very brief call-up in early May, but Gosselin struggled over the first month after making the Opening Day roster. Since being sent down, he hit .310/.337/.405 in 22 games. Moroff has 13 homers this year and a .954 OPS.