First base open as Pirates DFA Michael Chavis, Greg Allen, add Miguel Andujar, Jose Godoy
Sep 26, 2022
TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. When the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Miguel Andujar off waivers Sunday, they had to figure out how to distribute playing time over the final nine games and at whose expense it was going to come. Outfielder Greg Allen and infielder Michael Chavis were the odd men out, as both were designated for assignment before Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates activated Andujar and catcher Jose Godoy, who was on the taxi squad. “Having a large group of younger players up, it came down to making a challenging roster move, with both Chavis and Greg being the decisions,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “The main part of the decisions was how we were going to distribute at-bats over the next 10 games.”
Both Andujar and Godoy took batting practice Monday afternoon against right-hander JT Brubaker, who is on the injured list with right arm inflammation but hopes to return to make another start before the season ends. Shelton wasted no time inserting the newcomers into the starting lineup, with Andujar serving as designated hitter and Godoy catching Roansy Contreras against the Reds at PNC Park. “I’m super happy to be here,” said Andujar, who played primarily at third base and left field for the Yankees. “When I heard the news, I was happy to come here. They have a good group of guys here. I know some guys here, and there’s a good opportunity here.”
Andujar, 27, slashed .297/.328/.527 with 47 doubles, 27 home runs and 92 RBIs for the New York Yankees in 2018, when he finished second in AL rookie of the year voting, but was batting .229 with two doubles, one homer and eight RBIs in 27 games this season. “I think the thing we want to watch is the ability to swing the bat,” Shelton said. “It’s not very often you’re able to make a waiver claim on a guy that’s had that. He’s been in a situation in New York where he’s just been behind other guys and hasn’t really gotten the opportunity. I think it was a situation we thought we could get a look at him going into next year.”
Allen was in a crowded outfield that includes rookies Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell and Diego Castillo. Allen, 29, was claimed off waivers from the Yankees in November and was competing for a starting spot in the outfield when he strained his left hamstring and missed the first half of the season. Allen batted .186 with four doubles, two homers, eight RBIs and eight stolen bases in 46 games this season. Cutting ties with Chavis was more of a surprise, considering the Pirates traded for the former Boston Red Sox first-round pick in July 2021 and he started a team-high 82 games at first base this season. Chavis slashed .229/.265/.389 with 16 doubles, 14 homers and 49 RBIs in 129 games, including a pair of walk-off singles. Over the past 13 games, however, Chavis had been splitting time at first base with Zack Collins. The Pirates have started eight different players at first base this season, and Shelton said the starting job remains open and could become a priority this offseason in free agency. “I think that’s a fair statement,” Shelton said. “We’ve looked at a bunch of people there. We will continue to look at people there. It’s an area that going into the offseason that we will talk about. We’ve tried different people there. I think we will continue to do that. But I do think it’ll be an area that we focus on during the offseason.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at email@example.com or via Twitter . Support Local Journalism and help us continue covering the stories that matter to you and your community.