By Jason Shetler
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that the Pirates have placed Alen Hanson on waivers, while Alan Saunders of Pirates Prospects has reported that Gift Ngoepe will be optioned back to AAA Indianapolis. Brian Peloza, also of Pirates Prospects, says that Max Moroff was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup for Indianapolis, so it appears he will be rejoining the Pirates before Friday’s game against the New York Mets.
Hanson made the Pirates Opening Day roster out of Spring Training this year, mainly because he was out of options. The 24-year-old switch-hitter struggled to get anything going, as he posted just a .483 OPS in 59 plate appearances. Should Hanson clear waivers, he will be sent to Indianapolis.
Ngoepe began this season with Indianapolis. On April 26th, he made history by becoming the first black South African born player to not only appear in a Major League game, but also to record a hit. As great as the story is, Ngoepe has just been overmatched at the big league level, posting an extremely high strikeout rate of 41.3%, while putting up a wRC+ of 74.
Moroff is one of the top breakout prospects for the Pirates this year. The switch-hitting infielder has been very productive for Indianapolis in 2017, as he has put up an OPS of .954, to go along with 13 home runs. Moroff was with the Pirates in early May, and recorded his first big league hit at Dodger Stadium on May 9th.