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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pirates Claim Infielder Tommy Field From Angels

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a waiver claim, picking up infielder Tommy Field from the Los Angeles Angels on Anaheim. With the addition of Field, the 40-man roster in now full. He has been assigned to AAA Indianapolis.

Field has spent parts of three seasons in the Majors, 2011-12 with the Colorado Rockies and 2013 with the Angels. He was a 24th round pick of the Rockies in 2008. He has played most of his games at shortstop, seeing time at second base and third base as well. In 33 big league games, Field has a .224/.272/.224 slash line.

The 27-year-old has spent this season with Salt Lake City in the Pacific Coast League, where he is hitting .285/.351/.440 in 80 games. It’s important to point out, that while those numbers look good, the PCL is a high offense environment. Field’s .791 OPS ranks him sixth on the team among regulars. He has played all three infield positions this season. In 2011, Baseball America named him the Rockies top defensive minor league infielder.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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Aaron Shriver

I’m sorry, but this is just ridiculous trotting out Nix, Martinez, Morel, Field…. You know… when we have last season’s NL HR King sitting on our bench.


It is hard to continue reading the “pirates are cheap” comments. If you have not invested enough time reading this and other sites yet to understand the financial situation and dilemmas that the Pirates face then please don’t bother taking the time to ignorantly comment on it either. I will give you cliff notes:
The pirates DON’T have the same or even similar revenue stream to most other MLB teams.
The pirates would be set back several seasons if they overpaid for a FA and lost prospects along the way
The pirates can NOT simply overpay a player then admit the mistake and go and sign another player to take his place like many other teams.
The pirates are ONLY contenders now because of the very wise spending and signing using the resources that they do have.
Nobody that really follows the pirates wants this to happen or it may be another decade of losing because we stupidly “went for it” for one season.
please stop with the nonsensical babble about the pirates being cheap. Im embarrassed for you all who do that.


Wow ! I thought I had been bumped to Smizik’s blog after reading the experts here.

Andy Prough

My thoughts exactly. The chicken-little-sky-is-falling crew is out in full force.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are in the #2 wildcard spot, Garrett Cole pitched a 6-inning 1-hit gem today in Indy, and Huntington publicly announced that McCutchen’s next step is to prepare for game action. Sounds to me like help is on its way.

And if this guy Field plays as good of defense as Martinez and has a batting average 80 points higher, what’s not to like about this move?


“Huntington publicly announced that McCutchen’s next step is to prepare for game action.” Say what?


Where are you pulling “batting average 80 points higher” out of, other than thin air?

I’m having an awfully difficult time grasping how any sane person can consider this a positive move, if indeed Field comes up to the big club. The guy is just some other team’s Michael Martinez.

At this point I’d rather have Brandon Wood back. What’s Andy LaRoche doing these days?

Andy Prough

I read the article: “In 33 big league games, Field has a .224/.272/.224 slash line.”. That’s 80 points higher than Martinez is batting.


I can sort of understand Nix being here. He’s an established pro with solid defense and has already made some great plays. Martinez? Nah. And then we pick up this guy when you could have Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts or even (gasp!) Chone Figgins? In 80+ PAs in MLB, Field doesn’t have a single XBH. He even managed to bat .271 and still have a sub-.500 OPS a couple years ago. Hardly anything to be excited about. In fact, it’s depressing.


AMEN! Michael Martinez has played in 22 games an is a -0.2 WAR. Kelly Johnson is a positive 0.5 WAR this season and has an OPS .300 points higher for his career and .300 points higher this season, Johnson’s worst season. Brian Roberts? A positive 1.3 WAR player this year in 91 games…and again .250-.300 points higher both for his career and this year over Martinez…replacing Martinez with Roberts for those 22 games you get a full 0.5 WAR upward shift. HALF a win in 22 games…not counting what else would happen in the games Martinez has yet to play (I mean has yet to bat .140 in).


1. Love that 80 PA’s is considered a relevant sample in the MLB.
2. Might want to check the math on the sub-.500 OPS during the .271 BA seaon.


For just one crummy XBH? It’s plenty relevant.

And .271 BA with a sub-.600 OPS is tough to do too. Power numbers from PCL stops like Colorado Springs and Salt Lake, have proven to be a pretty unreliable indicator of MLB success.


And Lambo sits in Indy while we tolerate a sub .200 platoon at first…

The plan is working!!!!


Not expecting any formal announcement until tomorrow – but I am guessing this means Walker not only goes to the DL – but they are planning on a stay longer than 15 days.

R Edwards

It is unfathomable that we are within striking distance of first place, with the division there for the taking, and we have to trot lineups out there with the likes of Nix, Sanchez, Stewart, Martinez, and slugging Ike Davis. Disgraceful!

Lose 2 out 3 at home to San Diego – lost opportunity. Lambo, Ngeope, Rojas, and d’Arnaud would be a vast improvement over some of the dead wood on this team. Why have a deep and talented farm system if you are going to repeatedly pass over your own prospects for AAAA players that no one else wants??

Pimentel proves again today he does not belong in the majors, but we stubbornly keep him on the roster, while Oliver, Mazzaro would both be better options.

This front office ruined this season, with just idiotic personnel management and trades.


RE… You are spot on! I suppose on a “Pirates Prospects” site the inherent bias is going to be to hyper-tout the prospects. But, why oh why, if our prospects are so good — such that we wouldn’t give any of them up as part of a package in a key trade (when many competitors did just that) — do we then need to dredge the scrap heap for DFA rejects like Nix and Field? The answer must be either: (a) our prospects are not as good as the hype; or (b) they are much too young and unproven to be unequivocal strong MLB prospects at all (see, e.g., all the July talk on this site about current struggling AA OF Bell’s likely future as a MLB 1st baseman all-star!). While I’d like the Pirates to win in 2020 with all this supposed A and AA extraordinary talent, after 20 years of futility and 35 years since the last World Series title, I’d like to win now a whole lot more.


Expect the status quo for the next 2 years or so. Since this organization will not spend the money to upgrade positions of need (1st base for example), you are waiting until Josh Bell or ? to be MLB ready. If they don’t resign Martin (a likely possibility), now you have two infield positions to be filled with no obvious replacement. That assumes the head case Pedro gets his act together. I’m sure Neal & company have a plan in place that will not injure Nutting’s bank account.


WHO? Who do you want them to sign at 1B and for how much? They are cheap and stupid? Please tell them WHO is available that they can just go ahead and sign to upgrade 1B. Tell them WHICH prospects don’t really matter to the stability of the organization or for them to be long term contenders. WHO can the get and for WHAT? Once you tell us this plan Then we will all be enlightened here AND have a viable 1B option to root for.


Never wanted looney – but he would be SIGNIFICANTLY better than what we have. Abreu would have been nice and would have fit the Bucs business model


Yeah, why didn’t those freaking cheapskates ante up and sign James Loney this offseason? He’s been awes….oh. Nevermind.


Every team has a backup catcher. None of them are particularly good, or else they’d be the regular.

Martinez and Nix are there due to multiple injuries and Alvarez’s defensive tanking. Every team with injuries has to call on retreads from AAA for their depth at some point in the season. They’re not particularly good either, or else they wouldn’t be AAA retreads.

The 1B platoon is about middle of the pack if you take their performance against their opposite-handed pitchers into account– which is primarily what a platoon is used for. Davis actually works counts, takes walks, and gets on base pretty well. Yeah, it’s an underperforming position overall, but every team has a position that’s either underperforming or has been underperforming at some point in the season.

Hey, did you know that the Brewers, that team leading the NL Central, carried on its roster, for the longest time a completely unproductive Rule 5 pick pitcher? Seriously, the guy was useless and just took up a roster spot. Now, why would the division leaders be so stupid as to do that? Ya think maybe there’s a point to not giving up on talented pitchers even though they’re shaky at the moment?

My point is that if you take a look around baseball, you might get the perspective that these complaints you have against the Pirates– that you attribute to idiotic roster management and trades– are quite likely just the inevitable byproduct of typical team decisions. These are the kinds of decisions that every team makes or is forced to make due to injuries and whatnot; some decisions work out and others don’t, but that’s true for every team. This is real life; it ain’t some videogame where I get to create-a-player with great stats and have him sitting on the bench ready to go.


Not giving away talented players…like Morel or Martinez?! Yah…great comparison.


I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about with this comment.

R Edwards

“The 1B platoon is about middle of the pack if you take their performance against their opposite-handed pitchers into account– which is primarily what a platoon is used for.”

First, show me any statistics that support this claim? Other than the Padres, I would rank our first base situation next to last in the NL.

As far as Nix and Martinez are concerned, I am well aware of WHY they are on the roster. My point is, we had other options that were and are better – namely our own prospects that we supposedly develop so they can help out the parent club when the opportunity presents itself. Replace both with any combination of d’Arnaud, Rojas, Ngoepe. DFA Davis and replace with Lambo. DFA Pimentel and replace with Mazzaro.

Still think giving away Bryan Morris was a good move??


ESPN has sortable ranking by position. Taking all MLB 1B splits vs. LHP (minimum 25 AB’s) and ranking them by OPS, Sanchez comes in at 21st. Not great. But just taking his performance against LHP, he’s better than Fielder, Brandon Belt, Chris Davis, Adam LaRoche, and Matt Adams, just to name a few. Switching to splits vs. RHP, Davis comes in at 22nd (again, not great, but with a dang respectable .361 OBP). True, the overall numbers are weaker, but they’re skewed by the fact that they can’t always be used against their opposite-handed pitchers– again, this is real life and not a video game– and the fact that their AB’s against same-handers are a small sample size. OK, maybe middle-of-the-pack is generous, but I use that characterization to account for Davis’s good OBP.

If you replace Martinez and Nix with any on the guys you mention, you’re still rolling dice and probably doing harm in the long run. It’s too early to push Rojas and Ngoepe to MLB, if you want them to have a good shot at success in the long run. And Ngoepe has never been much of an offensive standout at any level, so I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that he’s a better option than anybody else. And even if Rojas is a legitimate offensive threat, rookies do tend to struggle; OPS’ing .800 at AAA often translates to .600 OPS for awhile until they get their feet under them. Same thing with d’Arnaud; he had his chances at the MLB and didn’t produce, so I’m not sure what kind of upgrade he could be counted on to deliver.

If Lambo had performed when given the chance, and then not gotten injured, maybe Davis wouldn’t be on the team. But the fact was that the team needed a lefty 1B and Davis was available. I’d like Pujols at 1B, too. But there’s only one of him and he’s in Anaheim and not affordable in terms of prospects it’d take to get him and not affordable in terms of money.

I don’t know about the Bryan Morris trade. I guess it depends what Conner Joe develops into. Still think 20/20 hindsight is a valid argument?


I really hate the “he had his chance” line of reasoning – baseball is made for second, third and fourth chances. Take Josh Harrison for example he was on the 2012 team. Did not make the 2013 team out of Spring training – back and forth to Indy. Finally sticks – but as a sub. This year he makes the team – but as a sub. Finally gets his chance in RF after a painful April of Tabata and Snider doing nothing. Now he is third on the team in WAR for the year.

A Lambo/Hague first base platoon would be better than what we now put out there and a heck of a lot cheaper – freeing up some salary to offer Martin


I’m not saying “he had his chance and therefore he’ll never be any good ever in any situation.” I’m saying it’s inconsistent and illogical to assume scrubs like Martinez, Morel, and Fields will never produce, while also asserting that scrubs like Hague and d’Arnaud will definitely produce, and therefore the front office is incompetent for not calling on those guys. Seriously: what exactly is the significant difference between any of them? They’re all marginal players, just with different names.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t get lucky when you have to call on one of them and they actually step up and produce– it happened with Matt Kata and Josh Phelps a few years ago. But you’re just rolling dice at that point and you’re about as likely to get lucky and wind up with a productive Morel as you are to get lucky and wind up with a productive d’Arnaud.


For the season, the Pirates rank 14th out of 15 NL teams in OPS production at first base. Even if Ike Davis played full time at first base (which he can’t because he has no chance against left handed pitching) his season OPS of 706 would place the Pirates as only the 12th out of 15 NL teams in OPS production at first. However, in July and August Ike has an OPS of only about 630 – don’t ask where that ranks in the league for season OPS production at first base. The lack of production at first has hurt the team badly this year. Third base, which also should be a positive offensive position, has been a similar black hole this year considering the net of Pedro’s modest offensive production and the number of runs he has “let in” with his league leading worst defense – remarkably Pedro leads the league in total number of errors (not just at third base – no player in the league at any position has more errors) and he has the lowest fielding percentage of any regular player in the league. I don’t think we should be sugar coating these facts because problems which are not acknowledged usually do not get solved.


Amen! Why people defend Ike Davis is beyond me. I love it when someone tries to quote some obscure splits like his OBP against right-handed pitching, on Tuesdays, at home, against teams west of the Mississippi. He sucks by any measure. Check out the other first baseman in the NL and let me know where the Pirates first basemen rank?


“I don’t think we should be sugar coating these facts because problems which are not acknowledged usually do not get solved.”
You realize that no one here actually has any ability to solve any of the team’s problems, right?


The fact that Martinez, Morel, and Nix have not only spent time on the ML roster this year but are getting to start daily when there are better options, yeah, that’s incompetence.


OK, so who are these “better” options? And explain exactly why a Brian Roberts waiver wire pickup (for example) is so much better than a Nix waiver wire pickup (again, for example)– if that’s part of your idea of better options.

Is one of them Lambo? I’ll give ya that one– as of now. But he was hurt for a good long time and he was unproductive before that.

The MLB team’s 2 regular utility guys are both unavailable. Barmes because he’s injured and Harrison because he’s playing regularly. When that happens, a team has to cross their fingers and call on whoever is at AAA and/or see what can be gotten through waivers. There’s no team that has multiple all-stars sitting on the bench or stashed in AAA.


You really want an explanation of how Brian Roberts or Kelly Johnson would be better than Martinez or Nix? Martinez who is -0.2 WAR and Nix who is -0.3 WAR since joining the Pirates?

You want an explanation on how two players (Roberts and Johnson) who have POSITIVE WAR would be better options for a contender than two players who have NEGATIVE WAR?



Yes. And please show your work.

Both Roberts and Johnson are variously injured and not very good anymore. Neither of them play good defense anymore, and their offense is only somewhat better than marginal; teams don’t waive productive players. Claiming Fields was a move for a guy who could be assigned to Indy and called up to the big club to provide good defense at multiple positions. Any offense you get outta him– which is probably not much, to be fair– is gravy.

You do know that WAR is calculated over the course of a season, right? Given that, it doesn’t seem likely that Roberts or Kelly’s barely-positive WAR contributions would be felt over the course of the couple of games they might be needed for does it? However, their defensive problems probably would reveal themselves in short order.

Again, how are either of these guys SO much better than Fields (or any other scrub out there)? The offensive upgrade is insignificant and their defense wouldn’t make up for it.


Well, since none of us on this site can/are playing MLB baseball, the game is a lot more interesting when one considers how he would analyze the team – basically that is what everyone on this site is doing, wouldn’t you agree? IMO the team waited too long to acknowledge the problems with Pedro’s defense at third and the lack of production at first base – I proposed starting Harrison at third and trying Pedro at first weeks ago on this site. I have never said that current management has done nothing right or has not addressed other problems on the team, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect. Obviously, current management now is way better than what existed several years ago.

Spa City

Rush Ngoepe? He is almost 25 years old and still in AA. He plays quality defense, runs well and draws walks. He deserves a shot at a major league utility job.

Rush Rojas? He is 24. He will never be a superstar, but he is hitting reasonably well at AAA. He could handle a utility job with the Pirates at this point.


Ngoepe strikes out over 1/4 of the time in AA and is barely putting up a season above the Eastern League average with a 102 wRC+.

Mel Rojas is an outfielder and has been for his entire career. He doesn’t really fit the utility player profile and they aren’t exactly hurting in the OF.


Not hurting in the OF? What team are you watching? We have Polanco and Marte sure…but Snider? Or if Snider can’t start because we’re playing a LH they put Harrison out there and thus force Martinez to start a game when he shouldn’t even be on the ML roster. Tell me how Mel Rojas is less deserving of a chance to play while McCutchen is out than Michael Martinez who at the exact same level as Rojas is at now couldn’t hit their combined weight?


The argument for Rojas, at least MY argument for Rojas, is that the Bucs need a RH bench bat and an alternative to putting Harrison (and especially Martinez) in the OF. Harrison is needed at 3b/2b (with Nix, whom I expect to be gone once Barmes returns).

My fascination with this thread is that some folks are really reaching to defend an acquisition of a pretty awful player in Field. If one is going to use an online conversion chart to determine Field’s performance at the MLB level based on PCL stats, how does Rojas stack up given his AAA stats? Answer: much better. There shouldn’t even be an argument.

My issues also don’t end there. I can now count at least four plays in the past week where Snider didn’t make a putout (and one potential assist) in LF where Marte would have – and Polanco probably would have based on his speed/length. I don’t see how the team benefits from having Polanco in RF and I don’t buy into any argument that suggests he’d be in over his head if switched to CF/LF.

Between having an additional RH bat, moving Snider to RF and eliminating Clint’s insistence on giving Hughes a clean inning instead of bringing in someone else and letting Hughes clean up the mess… IMO, that’s two more wins during the last three series. And that’s not even counting the insanity of continuing to bat Davis 4th.


I thought Travis Snider had a brutal defensive game yesterday in left field – he was pretty much exposed. I understand they are trying to bring Polanco along slowly, not throw too much at him and protect him, but left field is not that much different from right (except at PNC it is bigger (which plays to Polanco’s speed advantage) and it is not as tricky minus the Clemente wall), GP has been in the league for two months and he is doing just fine – I would be surprised if having him play left or center caused him any problems – more likely it would let him show off his talents and boost his confidence. As I recall, until this year, he played mostly CF in the minors. I think I agree with everything you say in your first three paragraphs, and I also agree that we have an obvious and serious problem with 1B offensive production.


Ngoepe and Rojas are at the levels they are at for a reason. Neither has ever played exceptionally well until this year, to expect them to jump from their perspective levels to the majors isn’t reasonable. I also would love for the Pirates to replace Nix and Martinez with better depth options, but obviously the players to do so aren’t available. They are making due with what’s available. Yes, it sucks, but this is baseball when you have multiple injuries at key positions. You make do, as the Pirates are attempting to do.


You don’t think Kelly Johnson would prove to be a better bench bat (more productive) than Michael Martinez?

Martinez has been on the active roster for a LONG time guys…unjustifiably so. You don’t think that at the deadline, via waiver pickup, or a waiver trade the Pirates could find ANYONE better than Michael Martinez?!


Well, that certainly settles that.

Spa City

I am glad I was able to help. My opinions are correct nearly 100% of the time.

B Thomas

rather get rid of Gomez than Pimentel 100% not even a question

R Edwards

They are both albatrosses on this team….can and should only be used in mop up duty when games are out of hand. In other words, useless.


I ran Field’s Salt Lake City numbers through a “minor league equivalency” calculator. At Indianapolis, they convert to .20/.329/.394 — .723 OPS. In Pittsburgh, they convert to .222/.279/.331 — .610 OPS. That’s not good, but it’s better than should expect from Michael Martinez.


Yeah, Field at least performed at league average in AAA, cannot say the same for Martinez. Though the Angels have John McDonald on the 25 man roster.


Can you fid this equivalency calculator online?


Here’s the link. It’s fun to fool around with. http://dblroundtable.com/mle.html


What do you get with Lambo’s numbers?

dr dng

If we are working on the presumption of having a player available just in case Mercer gets hurt then wouldn’t it have been better to just put Chase d’Arnaud on the 40 man roster?

And I am not even that big of a d’Arnaud fan.
(Heck its hard enough just trying to spell his name.)

Steve Martin

My guess is that Field takes over at 2B till Walker returns, and Martinez gets the heave-ho. d’Arnaud has played mostly CF this season at Indy and not at all at SS (a little at 2B, though).

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