The Atlanta Braves are continuing to build depth for the long stretch of summer, signing free agent utilityman Chad Pinder to a minor league deal.
After seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics, he signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds in January of the year with an invite to Spring Training. Pinder struggled at the plate, hitting .103 in hitting games before he was released in late March. A few days later, he was picked up by the Washington Nationals and appeared in 16 games with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, batting just above .200 before he was released earlier this month.
Pinder took after Johnny Cash, being everywhere on the field in 2022 with the A's. He made an appearance at every position except catcher, shortstop, and center field. Yes, he pitched one inning (two hits, three earned runs, two walks) in a blowout loss to the Minnesota Twins in May 2022.
During his time with Oakland, Pinder was a slightly below average hitter, with an average just below .250 and an OPS+ of 96 (100 is league average). He's hit 62 home runs and driven in 197 in his career. His best years came in 2017 and 2018, hitting double digit home runs in each season with his OPS at or above .750.
Pinder was originally drafted out of Virginia Tech in the second round by Oakland in the 2013 MLB draft, one pick after the Braves took Victor Caratini in the 2nd round.
While not a super splashy signing, adding Pinder to the revolving door of infielders allows the Braves to have some more major league options in the wings in Gwinnett if the injury bug were to come back and bite them during the key summer months. The 31-year old provides a "break glass in case of emergency" for Alex Anthopoulos and his team.