The Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed first baseman Carlos Santana on Tuesday afternoon. They didn’t announce a move to open up a 40-man roster spot until Wednesday afternoon. To make room on the roster for Santana, first baseman Lewin Diaz has been designated for assignment.
The 26-year-old Diaz was claimed from the Miami Marlins eight days ago. He’s a 6’4″, 217 pound lefty hitter. He has played parts of three seasons in the majors with little success at the plate, while displaying above average defense. His 2021 season was worth 0.8 WAR, giving him a total of 0.1 WAR over the 2020-22 seasons, but his offense has been below replacement level all three seasons. He has put up positive dWAR numbers in all three seasons, leading to that overall positive WAR number.
Diaz has shown solid contact rates coming up through the minors, helping him to an .829 OPS over 156 games in Triple-A during the 2021-22 seasons. That Triple-A success at the plate has yet to translate to the majors. In a total of 112 big league games, Diaz has a .181/.227/.340 slash line, with a 28.9% strikeout rate and 13 homers. He had a .169 average and a .512 OPS during the 2022 season.
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.