Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates have designated 1B/DH Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment. Taking Tsutsugo’s place will be infielder Tucupita Marcano. Pirates fans have been wondering when Tsutsugo would be DFA’d, and now the chickens have come home to roost.
Tsutsugo was originally picked up by the Pirates on Aug. 16, 2021, after the Dodgers DFA’d him. After the ’21 season, the Pirates signed Tsutsugo to a one-year deal on Nov. 29. At the time, it made sense. Tsutsugo put up a decent month and change with the Pirates, and the Pirates needed a DH/1B to fill a spot.
Since the signing, Tsutsugo hasn’t performed up to snuff. In 170 at-bats, Tsutsugo is batting .171/.249/.229 with an OPS of .478. Tsutsugo has shown no power with only two home runs and has struck out 29% of the time.
Marcano, on the other hand, has performed extremely well since being sent down to Triple-A Indianapolis. In 58 at-bats, Marcano is batting .362/.433/.500 with an OPS of .933. Marcano has registered six extra-base hits and has driven in five runs during a 14-game span with Indianapolis.
Marcano, unlike Tsutsugo, has enjoyed a ten-game hitting streak with Indianapolis and has seen some early success in Triple-A. I’ll be curious to see how they approach Marcano’s playing time moving forward.
This will be Marcano’s third stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates major league club. During his time at the big league level, Marcano is batting .229/.280/.357 with an OPS of .637 in 70 at-bats (20 games). Does the Yoshi Tsutsugo move now signify Bligh Madris sliding into the first baseman role? Will Josh VanMeter be next?