The Pirates have designated outfielder Nate McLouth for assignment, Michael Sanserino reports. McLouth will be replaced on their roster by first baseman Matt Hague.
McLouth hit just .140/.210/.175 in 57 at bats for the Bucs. Hague wasn’t hitting particularly well in Class AAA Indianapolis, but it shouldn’t be hard for him to be better than McLouth was.
McLouth has had increasing problems hitting for average as he has aged, so it’s no surprise that he flopped with the Pirates, and that the $1.75 million they spent on him was a waste of money. Here’s what I wrote about his signing when it happened:
Maybe McLouth comes back to Pittsburgh, recovers a little bit of that 2008 magic, and helps out as a bench player. I’ll be rooting for him. But it looks at least as likely to me that he joins with Clint Barmes, Rod Barajas and Pedro Alvarez to help the Pirates make a run at the modern record for lowest team batting average. I’m kind of kidding, but kind of not.
My semi-joke has unfortunately turned out to be accurate so far, as none of those players have a batting average higher than .212 (and there are a bunch of other offensive players in the same vicinity as well).
In any case, the McLouth signing wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn’t the front office’s finest hour, either. The Pirates shouldn’t have paid more than the league minimum for McLouth. The signing is also part of a consistent pattern the front office has had of signing free agent hitters who perform terribly.
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