The Pirates announced a series of non-roster invitations to spring training today, revealing within that they’ve signed veteran utilityman Chris Owings to a minor league pact. The ACES client will be in camp and vie for a bench job.
Owings is still just 31 but has appeared in each of the past 10 big league seasons, suiting up for the D-backs, Royals, Red Sox. Rockies and Orioles along the way. He spent the 2022 season with the Yankees and Orioles organizations, getting into 27 big league games with Baltimore but posting just a .104/.254/.143 batting line in 68 trips to the plate. That’s the opposite end of the small-sample spectrum from a similarly brief 2021 run with the Rockies, for whom he slashed a ludicrous .326/.420/.628 in 21 games/50 trips to the plate.
Overall, Owings is a career .239/.287/.366 hitter with 37 big flies and 79 steals through 712 big league games (2464 plate appearances). He’s played every position on the field, including 2 2/3 innings on the mound, although the bulk of his time in the big leagues has been spent at shortstop. Defensive metrics have never loved him at that spot, but Owings has average or better ratings at second base, at third base and in the outfield.
The left side of the Pirates’ infield is set with youngsters Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz at third base and shortstop, respectively. Rodolfo Castro, Ji Hwan Bae and prospect Nick Gonzalez (who’ll be in camp as a non-roster player) are in the mix for the second base slot. One of Castro or Bae could land a utility job on the bench, too, though it’s likely Gonzalez head to Triple-A for everyday reps, barring an upset win of the everyday job at second. The versatile Owings will join that competition for a utility spot off the bench. Owings is a lifetime .308/.347/.480 hitter in Triple-A, so he’ll likely give the Bucs some production in the upper minors if he can’t break the roster this spring.
I think we’ve been down this road before.
At this point, do they even need to mention the anemic splits of Pirates signings?
Hit 107, how is this possible.
56 AB spread over 2 months. Not hard.
Chris Davis was envious
Could be a good defensive sub for Cruz, a decent utility glove off the bench, and another good bet to have in the clubhouse. Why not? I’m on board.
*good VET to have in the clubhouse
Someone would need to either be placed on the IL or released for this player to be a defensive replacement for Cruz
I felt like he never got out against LA when he was with the rockies, I wish him luck in Pitt.
Buuba ho tep
WHY…..another van meter
thats it fort pitt
As a veteran, he’s probably a better option from the bench than sticking a young guy there who could use daily reps, albeit in the minors. I’d guess he goes to AAA as a bench option. MLB bench will have Heineman/Delay, Choi, Bae/Castro, Joe. Unless they move Choi. The way the moves turned out after his acquisition (Santana and Cutch), I’d think the FO regrets taking on his salary.
They haven’t taken on his salary yet. Could could have released him at any time.
Motor City Beach Bum
The next Brandon Drury?
on a minors deal a meh signing. if it was a majors deal then that would be very bad.
As Miguel Andujar wanders the earth aimlessly
He’s a non roster invitee
Josh Van Meter 2.0
Good replacement for Maggi after he retired from the Indianapolis Indians. Maybe they are looking at Owings as a future coach consideration?
Another wasted signing
“Gonzalez will be sent to the minors barring an upset win of the job at 2nd” lmao. He could bat .850 with 10 HRs and keep the same pace up at AAA for the first month and we still wouldn’t see him until after the Super 2. Not that I think that will happen or thar he should make the team. Just saying there is a 0% chance.