21 Apr

walk the plank

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ patience with Anthony Alford ran out. The former Petal High star has been designated for assignment, meaning the Bucs’ opening day center fielder can be claimed on waivers by another club, released outright or sent to the minors. Alford, 26, started this season 0-for-19 before getting a couple of hits. He struck out 16 times in 24 at-bats. Pittsburgh claimed him off waivers from Toronto last summer only to lose him to injury after five games. Though he never hit in limited opportunities with the Blue Jays, the Pirates seemed committed to giving Alford a shot as their center fielder in 2021. “He’s unbelievably athletic. He’s explosive,” manager Derek Shelton told triblive.com in the off-season. “He’s going to be a guy on the bases who’s going to be exciting. Once he gets moving, it’s fast and it’s powerful.” But Alford, who played football at Southern Miss and Ole Miss before focusing on pro baseball in 2015, never got moving.

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