Pirates Add Chris Owings to Roster; Option Mark Mathias

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a change in the infield on Monday prior to their game with the Colorado Rockies. They also made an announcement regarding tomorrow’s starting pitcher.

Infielder Chris Owings had been added to the 40-man roster and called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. He missed some brief time this year due to a minor injury, limiting him to 13 games so far. He’s hitting .278/.360/.523 over 50 plate appearances. Owings has played four positions for Indianapolis, though nine of his starts were at shortstop.

Owings has played parts of ten seasons in the majors. He’s a career .239/.287/.366 hitter in 710 games. He really struggled at the plate in a brief time with the Baltimore Orioles in 2022, hitting .107/.254/.143 in 26 games. He has been in the majors every year since 2013, but he has played just 130 games total over the last four seasons.

Mark Mathias was sent down to make room for Owings on the active roster. They already had an open spot on the 40-man roster, so there was no need to make an extra move.

Mathias hit .275/.370/.325 in 15 games for the Pirates, so it’s doubtful they will see an upgrade on offense with this move, though a downgrade is very possible in this trade-off. Owings is the better defensive player, plus he can handle shortstop as well as anyone the Pirates have at the spot now. If you watched the team over the weekend, you know that defense was one of the many things that went wrong.

The Pirates also announce that Luis Ortiz has been added to the Taxi Squad. He will be the starting pitcher for the Pirates tomorrow in place on Vince Velasquez.

It will be interesting to see if Ortiz sticks around. The Pirates have off-days on Thursday and next Monday, so they only need the fifth starter spot once during that time. Velasquez is supposed to be a short-term injury according to General Manager Ben Cherington.

Except for a few batter stretch in his next to last start, Ortiz has put things together in his last two outings. He had high pitch counts in his first three games, followed by back-to-back starts in which he record just three strikeouts total. The last two outings were a combo of efficiency, strikeouts and results. Overall he has a 2.23 ERA, an 0.96 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

More on Ortiz tomorrow when the roster move becomes official.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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The Gunner

Regarding Travis Swaggerty, he hasn’t appeared in a game for Indy since April 13. A few days ago, it was announced he was placed on the IL retroactive to April 20.

What exactly is going on with TSwag…….does he have an injury or is it something else?


Move to accommodate Ortiz will likely be either option Bolton or DFA de Jong.

In case you were wondering, de Jong translates to “Look out!” in Pennsylvania Dutch.


Aka “INCOMING!!!!!!”


Owings at SS tonight, with Rudy at 2b.

Meanwhile, Jose Iglesias is in AAA for the Padres. Pick up the f*cking phone, Ben


Good call, good SS defense and atleast competent with the bat

Wilbur Miller

Iglesias has a really weird history at the plate, but bad Iglesias is still easily better than typical Owings. And he’s an actual ML SS. So it’s hard to see a downside.


He has 2 errors in 9 games though…..


I’ll defer to his large sample of being a plus, plus defender in the majors over the 9 games he’s played in the PCL this season.

Wilbur Miller

Delay’s two hits yesterday were twice as many as Dredges has had in his last 19 ABs. Delay’s BA is now 2.74 times greater than Dredges’.


Hedges is this years version of Josh Van Meter. The wiley presence who’s in the lineup no matter how he hits. For no good reason.

Wilbur Miller

Well, this was a response to Cobra below, but the edit button isn’t working so I can’t move it.




Oh, I agree. Our luck he would arrive and suddenly he is in the middle of his end of career massive decline…..


I’d counter the offensive downgrade in Owings with a slight offensive upgrade in Delay

But 5 million reason$ that’s not going to happen

b mcferren

cant complain about this move

Wilbur Miller

Should have brought Jordy back.


I thought of Jay Bell then I saw that he was almost as old as I am……sucks getting old…….


Bullshit! I’m as good a man as I ever was . . . . one time.


Lol! I will never forget when I decided that I was gonna play in the neighborhood charity softball Tourney in Cranberry Twp back 20 years ago. Played.a lot of little league and semi fast pitch softball in the past. Before that year, I always had a pretty strong arm…still was throwing with my kid but not from the outfield…… put it this way, I know how Polanco felt when his arm left him…where the hell is the cutoff man!!!
Extra bonus that year was Werner had been retired a couple of years. His neighborhood one. Got to see him blast several bombs, lol! Had to pay attention if he was at bat in the field behind you…..Incoming!!!,

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