Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Pirates have claimed shortstop/third baseman Brandon Wood from the Angels. They'll need to drop a player from both the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster to make room for him. Sending Rule 5 pick Josh Rodriguez back to the Indians would be one way to do that; optioning Steve Pearce to Indianapolis and dropping a minor-leaguer from the 40-man would be another.â†µ
No one is happy with Ronny Cedeno, who is currently batting .170 and has made several glaring defensive mistakes. Unfortunately, Wood is probably even worse. He has considerable power but no clue what to do with it, and his struggles against major-league pitching have been epic - he's hitting .168 in 464 career at bats, mostly due to massive problems with the strike zone, which have caused him to rack up 153 strikeouts and 13 walks in his career. He has superficially nice-looking minor-league numbers, but those were compiled mostly in Salt Lake City and Rancho Cucamonga, which are two of the easiest places to hit in professional baseball (not so much because those ballparks are themselves great places to hit, but because those teams play tons of road games in places that are). Also, he's a dreadful defensive shortstop.â†µ
I can't blame the Pirates for wanting to find a legitimate alternative to Cedeno, but they are arguably taking a situation that was very hard to make worse, and making it worse. Rodriguez or Chase D'Arnaud or Pedro Ciriaco or any number of other players would have been better. If the Pirates' scouts see something they can fix here, then fine, but if not, I don't like this move at all, even at the cheap price of a waiver claim.â†µ
UPDATE: The Pirates have designated Josh Rodriguez for assignment, which almost certainly means he's gone for good. They have also recalled Pedro Ciriaco, perhaps just for a couple days until Wood reports. None of this is a particularly big deal, but I would have preferred to keep Rodriguez.