Shortstop Engelb Vielma has been claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. The Pirates traded away Shane Carle yesterday, so both players who were designated for assignment after the Gerrit Cole trade are no longer in the system. Vielma was selected off waivers by the Pirates from the Philadelphia Phillies back on December 11th.
The 23-year-old shortstop is a gifted defender, but he has a career .618 OPS in the minors, including a .493 mark over 87 games in his first trial at Triple-A. He had a .613 OPS over 34 games this winter in Venezuela, then batted .292 in seven playoff games.
With Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer likely both seeing time at shortstop for Indianapolis, plus Erich Weiss and Eric Wood also taking up infield spots, there didn’t seem to be a good spot for Vielma. That doesn’t even include the possible promotions of Wyatt Mathisen or Pablo Reyes from Altoona, or Christopher Bostick seeing infield time, and even Max Moroff if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster for the Pirates. As far as losses go, this one has very little impact.