The Pirates outrighted Difo to Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday after he cleared waivers, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The utility man no longer possesses a spot on the 40-man roster, but he'll remain in the organization after none of MLB's other 29 teams were willing to put in a waiver claim for him. Prior to being designated for assignment by Pittsburgh, Difo appeared in 44 games and slashed .244/.287/.366 with one home run, seven runs and six RBI.
The Pirates designated Difo for assignment Tuesday, Kevin Gorman of TribLive.com reports.
Difo has been a somewhat capable offensive performer, hitting .244 with six RBI in a backup role, but apparently he didn't do enough to keep a roster spot now that Phillip Evans (hamstring) is healthy. Difo's defensive versatility may be intriguing to some teams, so it wouldn't be shocking to see him claimed off waivers.
Difo went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI in Sunday's 6-5 win over the Cubs.
The center field start was his second in a row, but with Ben Gamel joining the team, Difo could return to the bench. In fact, he's started just six games all season long. Prior to Sunday, Difo had done his best work as a pinch hitter, going 6-for-17 with a triple, home run and three RBI.
Difo went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in Tuesday's 8-4 win over the Padres.
The Pirates were hitting the ball all over the place in Tuesday's win, but Difo was an exception, as he was the only hitter aside from pitcher Chad Kuhl who failed to reach base. The 29-year-old achieved the infamous golden sombrero by striking out swinging four times. He'll likely take a seat in Wednesday's game and hope to put this abominable performance behind him.
Difo went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in Sunday's 7-1 win over the Cubs.
Difo has had inconsistent playing time for the Pirates early in the season, but he blasted his first home run of the year as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning Sunday. The 29-year-old has now gone 4-for-11 with three extra-base hits and four strikeouts in 2021.
Difo went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run in Wednesday's 11-4 loss to Cincinnati.
Batting second, the third baseman was a bright spot offensively, recording his first hits of the season in what was an otherwise dreadful game for Pittsburgh. The former National has been a part-time player for much of his career and should return to such a role once Ke'Bryan Hayes returns from injury. In the meantime, Difo will have to build on Wednesday's strong performance to merit fantasy consideration, but this was certainly a promising start.
The Pirates selected Difo's contract from the taxi squad ahead of Sunday's game against the Cubs, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Pittsburgh will be bringing Difo aboard to provide depth in the infield after top third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (wrist) was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday. Phillip Evans is starting at third base Sunday and will likely serve as the main replacement for Hayes, so Difo likely won't be in store for much work for the duration of his stint on the 26-man roster.
The Pirates reassigned Difo to their minor-league camp Monday.
Difo had been angling for a spot on the Pirates' Opening Day roster as a utility man, but he now looks poised to begin the 2021 season at Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates are expected to keep Phillip Evans and Erik Gonzalez on hand as reserve infielders heading into the regular season.
Difo is in the starting lineup for Monday's spring game against the Blue Jays.
Difo's arrival at camp was delayed by visa issues, but he has made it to Florida and is ready for game action. He will man second and hit second in the Pirates' batting order.
Difo wasn't present Monday for the Pirates' first workout for position players at spring training while he contends with visa issues, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Difo is scheduled to attend spring training as a non-roster invitee after agreeing to a minor-league deal with Pittsburgh in January. Assuming he's able to resolve his visa issues in a timely fashion, Difo shouldn't fall too far behind his competition for a utility infield job with Pittsburgh.
Difo signed with the Pirates on Friday, Robert Murray of FanSided.com reports.
The terms of the deal have not yet been announced. Difo has settled in as a serviceable bench option but little more than that, posting a .247/.309/.348 over parts of six seasons with the Nationals, though he's found himself in one of the better landing spots for a player looking to increase his playing time.
Difo cleared waivers Monday and accepted an outright assignment to the Nationals' alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Rather than requesting his release from Washington to pursue opportunities elsewhere, Difo will remain in the organization and continue to train regularly in Fredericksburg in preparation for another callup later in the season. Before getting designated for assignment over the weekend, Difo had seen few opportunities this season with the Nationals, appearing in just 12 games and going 1-for-14 at the dish.
Difo was designated for assignment by the Nationals on Saturday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Difo will make room of the roster for Carter Kieboom, who was called up in a corresponding move. Difo had played very infrequently this season, grabbing just one hit in 14 at-bats.
Difo is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Orioles, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Though Difo clinched a spot on the Nationals' Opening Day roster, the 28-year-old has yet to start in any of the Nationals' 12 games and has seen use in just three contests. The utility man likely won't see a dramatic change in his playing time unless the Nationals are missing multiple infielders due to injuries.
Difo may not find room on the 26-man roster once the regular season is ready to begin.
The 27-year-old has seen big-league action in each of the last five seasons, compiling a .663 OPS over more than 1,000 plate appearances, but the offseason addition of Starlin Castro and the return of Asdrubal Cabrera and Howie Kendrick could spell the end of that run -- the veterans give the Nats plenty of infield flexibility without sacrificing offense. Difo's best chance to win a bench spot could come if Carter Kieboom is deemed not ready to handle the starting third base job, but even then, the club could decide to go with Andrew Stevenson as the 26th man instead. Difo wasn't helping his case this spring when MLB was put on pause, either, going 4-for-30 (.133) with an 0:4 BB:K.
Difo signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals on Sunday to avoid arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Difo's contract entails that the Nationals still view the 27-year-old shortstop as a potential utility player around the infield next season. He's not guaranteed a roster spot and is out of minor-league options, so the team is going to eventually have to make a decision as to whether it wants him on the 40-man roster or not. Difo had a slash line of .252./.315/.313 with two home runs and eight RBI across 144 plate appearances in 2019 and seemingly has proven he can play at the major-league level.
Difo was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Difo's last action in the majors dates back to May 16, though he went on to post a decent .300/.369/.438 slash line with four homers, 30 RBI and 13 stolen bases over 61 games at Fresno. He's expected to slot into a bench role for the stretch run.
Difo was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Friday.
Trea Turner (finger) makes his return from the injured list after missing six weeks to prompt Difo's demotion. The 27-year-old struggled to find any consistency at the plate despite a regular role, and slashed .231/.301/.298 with only four extra-base hits in 134 plate appearances. Difo figures to rejoin the Nationals at some point later in the season in a utility role.
Difo will start at shortstop and bat eighth Thursday against the Mets.
Difo will draw his 11th straight start, with the last nine of those coming at shortstop. He's only hitting .235/.278/.235 since resurfacing as a mainstay in the Washington lineup, and his time as a regular player could come to an end as soon as Friday against the Cubs. Trea Turner (finger) rejoined the Nationals for a workout Thursday and looks poised to come off the 10-day injured list this weekend, when he should assume everyday duties at shortstop right away. Turner's impending return will presumably push Difo into more of a utility-infield role.
Difo will start at shortstop and bat sixth Wednesday against the Brewers.
Top prospect Carter Kieboom's unsuccessful stint as the Nationals' starting shortstop came to an end Tuesday, when the team optioned him to Triple-A Fresno. With Kieboom out of the way, Difo should reclaim the everyday gig at shortstop he previously filled when Trea Turner (finger) landed on the injured list April 3. Turner lacks a concrete timetable and is probably at least two weeks away from returning, so Difo should have a window of steady at-bats, making him a player worthy of consideration in deep formats.
|Last 7 Games|
|06/06||vs MIA||L 1-3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|06/05||vs MIA||W 8-7||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|06/01||@ KC||L 5-10||4||1||2||0||0||0||0|
|05/30||vs COL||L 3-4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|05/29||vs COL||W 7-0||1||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|05/27||vs CHC||L 3-5||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|05/26||vs CHC||L 1-4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
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|Minor League Batting Stats|