Ever since Oneil Cruz went down with an ankle injury, the middle infield has been an issue for the Pittsburgh Pirates. With poor results coming from the guys who stepped up in Cruz’s absence, the Pirates are looking to the minor leagues for help.
In a tweet Monday morning, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that the Pirates are reportedly calling up veteran Chris Owings from Indianapolis, however the team has not officially announced the move yet.
Per sources, Pirates bringing up Chris Owings, 31. Has played for Diamondbacks, Royals, Red Sox, Rockies and Orioles. Was hitting .273 with an .883 OPS in 13 games with Triple-A Indy. Nearly made opening day roster out of camp.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) May 8, 2023
Owings, 31, is riding a hot streak offensively with Indianapolis, slashing .273/.360/.883 with two home runs and four RBI in 13 games. Most recently, he finished Sunday’s series finale 4-for-5 with a double and home run.
Chris didn't miss. pic.twitter.com/dG7O8nqEmT— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) May 7, 2023
He’s excelled in the minors throughout his career as he’s hit .290 with 238 extra base hits, however, that success has not transcended to the majors.
Owings’ best season came in 2021 when he slashed .326/.420/.628, but that spanned only 21 games. In 2015, he played a career-high 147 games and hit a mere .227 and struck out 144 times.
Fun fact, he led the majors with 11 triples in 2016.
While his offense isn’t spectacular, Owings is known for his defense. He can play seven positions, with shortstop as his primary spot. Overall, he’s accumulated a fielding percentage of 97.7.
The move isn’t flashy, nor is it a promotion that fans have longed for, but remember: this isn’t a long-term move. Owings will more than likely get DFA in under a month unless he skyrockets with the Pirates. In that case, he will be the main shortstop until Cruz gets back.