Monday, March 26, 2007

Roster updates

The Pirates' roster is becoming more and more clear each day. This is what we know at this point:

C - Ronny Paulino
1B - Adam LaRoche
2B - Freddy Sanchez (Jose Castillo)
3B - Jose Bautista
SS - Jack Wilson
LF - Jason Bay
CF - Chris Duffy
RF - Xavier Nady

SP - Zach Duke
SP - Ian Snell
SP - Tom Gorzelanny
SP - Paul Maholm
SP - Tony Armas Jr.

RP - Salomon Torres
RP - Matt Capps
RP - Damaso Marte
RP - John Grabow (Juan Perez)
RP - Shawn Chacon

That leaves seven open spots. Two will go to relievers, with Dan Kolb, Josh Sharpless, and Jonah Bayliss still in the hunt. I would expect Kolb and Sharpless to prevail, mostly because Bayliss lost some of his spring to an injury. The other five roster spots will make up the Pirates' bench. The only sure thing at this point is Jose Castillo. Other than that, there are many different directions that Jim Tracy could go. Luis Matos, Nate McLouth, Jose Hernandez, Michael Ryan, Ryan Doumit, Don Kelly, Humberto Cota and Brad Eldred all still have a chance. I would like to see Castillo, Matos, McLouth, Doumit and Kelly head north. I don't think Eldred is ready to hit Major League pitching, though he may find his way to Pittsburgh if LaRoche struggles against left-handers early in the season. Doumit should pinch-hit as well as back up catcher, first base and right field, allowing him to play a few times a week. Matos and McLouth should back up in the outfield, with Ryan waiting in Indy should one of those two falter early on. At this point, I would rather see Don Kelly play the role of Jose Hernandez this season. I don't think either are any good; I just like Kelly better. The fact that he is left-handed doesn't hurt either. This is a pretty sad bench.

Outside of Gorzelanny, the starting pitching has been a pleasant surprise this spring. Sean Burnett looks like he is ready to pitch in Pittsburgh again, and I would not be worried if Shane Youman had to make a spot start. Also, Bryan Bullington looked solid during limited action. I was concerned with the lack of starting depth coming into the season. I am feeling much better about that right now. The Pirates should have a few insurance options in the Indianapolis rotation.

NOTES: Juan Perez will likely make the roster out of camp due to John Grabow's injury. Assuming Freddy Sanchez starts the season on the disabled list, Jose Castillo will fill in at second base. Because of this, both Don Kelly and Jose Hernandez might come north at the beginning of April. That is a very scary thought.


1 comment:

Matt said...

Hey Matt, good job predicting how the bullpen would shake out. Stupid.

Wait 'Til Next Year