When the Pirates announced they were picking up recent Cleveland Guardians DFA infielder Yu Chang, there were the usual complaints about bottom-feeding and picking up terrible players to make the ones already present look good. However, many knew that with Chang’s arrival, someone was going to go.
I was amazed that I didn’t hear cries of joy echo around the Burgh when this popped up on Twitter:
We have acquired INF Yu Chang from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for cash considerations.— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 30, 2022
To make room for Chang on the 40-man roster, INF Cole Tucker has been designated for assignment.
The Pirates obtained Tucker in the first round of the 2014 draft out of Phoenix’s Mountain Pointe High School, and he made his MLB debut in 2019 after being ranked as the Bucs’ number five prospect the previous year. His Pirates slash line was .211/.259/.314, with an OPS of .573. Anyone who watched him this year knew he was falling off even those horrific numbers. The Pirates experimented with Tucker in the outfield, where he was moderately okay, but that was not the Jobu needed to wake up his comatose bat.
When you are best known for your admittedly fabulous hair and your movie-star girlfriend and not for your play, there’s trouble ahead, matey. From Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette:
If this is indeed it for Tucker in Pittsburgh, you won’t find many better or likable people. Easy to want to see Cole succeed.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) May 30, 2022
That said, it’s a business. Gotta produce and Tucker hasn’t done that consistently enough.
Hitting .135 in Triple-A? “Not being consistent” is a nicer way of saying “Did you forget how to hit?” He progressed pretty well through the minors, but he began to struggle with hitting at Indianapolis and never really recovered.
Still, Tucker was a fan favorite at PNC Park even as he was denigrated everywhere else, but as Mackey says, it’s a business. Tell Vanessa we said hi, Cole.