Maggi checks off another box with first big league start

April 27th, 2023

PITTSBURGH -- On Wednesday night, following 13 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Drew Maggi finally had an opportunity to take his first Major League at-bat. On Thursday, he checked off another box: his first Major League start.

Maggi started at third base in place of Ke’Bryan Hayes in the Pirates’ 6-2 win over the Dodgers, going hitless in three at-bats.

“We knew we were going to give Ke’ and Santana the days [off] today with the day games,” said manager Derek Shelton. “I called [Maggi] in to give him the lineup card. … As he walked out, I said, ‘You got your first at-bat. Now you’re going to get your first start.’ Anytime when you have moments like that, it’s special.”

The 33-year-old journeyman wasn’t able to record his first Major League hit, but he nearly sent PNC Park into a frenzy in the bottom of the sixth inning, hitting a 376-foot fly ball that center fielder James Outman caught at the warning track.

Maggi did manage to record the first infield assist of his big league career in the seventh inning, fielding Austin Barnes’ harmless ground ball and throwing to Connor Joe across the diamond for the out.

“He hit the one ball deep into the gap and the only ball they hit to him, he caught,” Shelton said. “I thought he did a nice job."

Maggi made his Major League debut on Wednesday, pinch-hitting for Andrew McCutchen in the bottom of the eighth inning. Following 1,154 games and 4,494 plate appearances in the Minors, he had the opportunity to enter a Major League game. Though he struck out on four pitches, after more than a decade in the Minors, Maggi was all smiles.

"I've never been more happy for a strikeout in my life," Maggi laughed.