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Brandon Wood Joins Pittsburgh Pirates, Fulfills Destiny

This is a distinctly Pittsburgh Pirates move, but I like it anyway: They've picked up Brandon Wood, erstwhile top-prospect-in-baseball, from the Los Angeles Angels on waivers. With Ronny Cedeno's failure to emerge as a defensive or offensive standout at shortstop, the Pirates are in a position to experiment in the infield.

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The Brandon Wood story is a sad one. In 2005 he had an astounding season as a 20-year-old between high-A and AAA, hitting .321 with 43 home runs and 53 doubles to slug .667. He continued to perform intermittently in AA and AAA, but the Angels were never sure of his defense and it took him a while to earn significant Major League time. Since he has, he's been—one of the worst hitters in baseball, twice. His career MLB line, across 173 games, is now .168/.197/.259, with only 11 home runs against 153 strikeouts. 

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Wood was always a flawed hitter in hindsight, but the Pirates can afford to stick him in the lineup for a month with no pressure and see if some of that home run power reappears. If it doesn't—well, he's not much worse than Ronny Cedeno. 

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