The Pirates announced some roster moves ahead of today’s doubleheader, including the previously reported selection of Luis Ortiz. They also recalled catcher/first baseman Zack Collins and optioned infielder/outfielder Tucupita Marcano. To open a spot for Ortiz on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Bligh Madris has been designated for assignment.
Madris, 26, was a ninth-round selection of the Pirates in 2017. Though he was never atop any prospect lists, he still posted solid results as he worked his way up the minor league ladder. Last year, he split his time between Double-A and Triple-A and registered a solid 11.2% walk rate along with an 18.2% strikeout rate. That helped him produce a batting line of .267/.353/.417 in 114 games, good enough for a wRC+ of 108.
This year, he got out to a hot start in Triple-A and got selected to the big league roster in June. He hasn’t been able to produce much at the big league level just yet, hitting .177/.244/.265, though that’s in a small sample of just 123 plate appearances. He’s spent more time this year with Indianapolis, hitting .294/.366/.482 over 288 trips to the plate. That amounts to a 125 wRC+, or production 25% above league average.
Since Madris was first selected to an MLB roster just this year, that means he has a full slate of options and limited service time. With the trade deadline long gone, the Pirates will have to place him on waivers in the coming days. Any team intrigued by his ability to get on base could put in a claim and keep him around as an optionable depth option with years of club control. If he were to clear waivers, the Pirates could keep him in the organization with him occupying a roster spot.