US media on ‘contender trade’ “Choi is the starting first baseman”… Pittsburgh believed in CHOI

Posted Posted onJuly 28, 2023 Comments0

After hitting a home run, he was held out of the lineup for four games. Whenever a left-hander started, Choi (32-Pittsburgh Pirates) was on the bench, and even when a right-hander came up, he didn’t get a chance to start.

That changed overnight. Competitor Carlos Santana (37) left the team. “The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a trade,”, the official website of Major League Baseball, announced on Monday.

Pittsburgh has acquired veteran first baseman Santana and received shortstop prospect Yoenis Severino (19) from Milwaukee.

Santana, the trade that only Choi stood in the way of, was a foregone conclusion
Santana signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent last November for one year and $6.75 million. This season, he served as Pittsburgh’s designated hitter, batting .235 with 12 home runs, 53 RBIs, a .321 on-base percentage, a .421 slugging percentage and a .733 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).안전놀이터

It was an Altoran-like performance. The Pittsburgh Gazette-Post listed Santana’s batting numbers and said, “Not only that, but Santana was the best defensive first baseman in baseball this season, playing nearly every day,” adding that the veteran’s presence will be missed.

However, the veteran was on a one-year contract, so a trade was somewhat predictable. So Pittsburgh parted ways with the 290-homer hitter and chose the future.

Severino, who joined Milwaukee as an international signing in 2022, has yet to play in the big leagues. But the potential is there. According to Baseball America’s scouting report, Severino is a switch-hitter with plus power from both sides of the plate.

Goodbye Platoon… US” Media Choi Ji-Man is the starting first baseman”
It’s clear why Choi fell victim to the Platoon system. Santana’s stellar defense and solid hitting at first base meant that the designated hitter spot was often reserved for “Pirate Captain” Andrew McCutchen.

However, with Santana’s departure, the role seems to be a natural fit for Choi. “The loss of Santana, who has hit nine of his 12 home runs since June and has an OPS of .789, will put the burden on McCutchen, Choi and, defensively, Conor Jo,” the Pittsburgh Gazette-Post said.

“It will be interesting to see what this means for Choi, who has four homers in nine games since returning from a left Achilles injury, and is in a similar position to Santana in that he can be an advisor to the team as a veteran,” the outlet said.

“I think he’s the starting first baseman for now anyway,” he added.

Pittsburgh finally conceded, Choi is a numbers game
The trade is closely tied to Pittsburgh’s current situation. The Pirates are in fifth place in the National League (NL) with 45 wins and 57 losses. With 60 more games to go, it’s hard to look forward to fall baseball.

It’s a decision that’s about the future, but it’s also about being realistic. Pittsburgh must have recognized Choi”s recent momentum.

The decision was made because they realized that they couldn’t afford to use Choi as a designated hitter or keep him on the bench when a left-handed pitcher was starting.

Choi returned to action earlier this month after nearly three months of rehabilitation following an injury earlier this season. Despite not playing consistently since then, he has been devastating, batting .250 (8-for-32) with four home runs, eight RBIs, and a .942 OPS.

Another local outlet, Pittsburgh Baseball Now, noted that “Choi has six home runs in 20 games for the Pirates this season,” and that “he’s already tied for sixth on the team in home runs despite missing most of the season with an injury.”

He’s batting .143 (2-for-10) against lefties in a small sample size this season, but he’s also hit a home run, and last year he hit .294 (15-for-51) against lefties, stronger than he did against righties (.223).

Ultimately, with that in mind, Pittsburgh’s strategy seems to be to maximize Choi’s utility while adding a shortstop of the future.


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