The Pirates have designated infielder Yu Chang for assignment and reinstated fellow infielder Tucupita Marcano from the Covid-related injured list. Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic first pointed out that Marcano was in the clubhouse and that Chang, who is out of minor league options, was collecting his things and likely to be the corresponding roster casualty.
Chang has spent about a month in the Steel City, having been acquired from the Guardians at the end of May. He appeared in 18 games but managed only a .167/.286/.262 line, striking out in 18 of his 49 trips to the plate. That was enough for the Bucs to move on fairly quickly, as manager Derek Shelton has turned to Hoy Park and Josh VanMeter on the right side of the infield over the past few days. Chang is capable of covering all four spots on the dirt, but the Bucs’ left side is spoken for by Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes.
The 26-year-old Chang was regarded by evaluators as a solid prospect for much of his time climbing the Cleveland farm system. He reached the big leagues in 2019 and has seen sporadic MLB action in each of the past four seasons. He’s posted a meager .204/.268/.359 slash in just more than 400 career plate appearances, striking out at an alarming 29.5% rate in the process. He has rarely had much opportunity for everyday at-bats, however, and he owns a more serviceable .258/.332/.427 mark over parts of four Triple-A seasons.
Within the next week, the Bucs will trade Chang or try to run him through waivers. That Pittsburgh sent cash to Cleveland for him a month ago indicates they believed there was a good chance he’d be claimed off waivers or acquired by another team at the time. Whether that’ll still be the case after another month of struggles remains to be seen, but Chang’s prospect pedigree and affordability could hold some appeal. Any club that acquires him would need to keep him on the active roster or designate him for assignment themselves.