Monday, April 2, 2012

So Close...

Your 2012 Pittsburgh Pirate roster, minus two:

Starters: Erik Bedard, Kevin Correia, Jeff Karstens, and James McDonald, with AJ Burnett and Charlie Morton on the DL. Both should be back by May.

Bullpen: Juan Cruz, Jason Grilli, Joel Hanrahan, Jared Hughes, Chris Leroux, Evan Meek, Daniel Moskos, Chris Resop and Tony Watson.

Infield: Pedro Alvarez, Clint Barmes, Josh Harrison, Matt Hague, Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, Yamaiko Navarro and Neil Walker.

Catcher: Rod Barajas and Mike McKenry.

Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Nate McLouth, Alex Presley and Jose Tabata.

If the Bucs go with an extra bat to open the season, a pair of Leroux, Hughes and Moskos will head back to Indy. If they take an extra arm, a pitcher and either Harrison or Hague go to the farm. They have until 5 PM Wednesday to set the roster, so...

Other Notes:
  • Tonight's lineup looks a lot like the everyday one Clint Hurdle will start the year off with against righties: Alex Presley LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Neil Walker 2B, Garrett Jones 1B, Rod Barajas C, Pedro Alvarez 3B and Clint Barmes SS. Throw in Casey McGehee and either Matt Hague/Josh Harrison, and that's the lefty attack.
  • AJ Burnett threw four shutout innings and 54 pitches against the AAA squad yesterday. He's scheduled to make a rehab start Friday for High A Bradenton.
  • Matt Hague led all MLB players with 7 home runs this spring, the most by a Bucco since Craig Wilson hit 8 in 2005. He batted .385 with 14 RBI, second in camp to Garrett Jones' 16.
  • Pirate prospect RHP Kyle McPherson will start the season on the Indy's DL due to shoulder inflammation. He missed several days of camp with a sore arm, as reported by Tim Williams of Pirates Propects.
  • The Bucs will play an exhibition against their AA club, Altoona, next season. Depending on the MLB schedule, it looks like an April 1st or 2nd date.


WilliamJPellas said...

With Morton and Burnett on the DL to start the season, obviously there will be two guys who go north from Bradenton who will be back in the minors by the end of April, if not before then. Just guessing here, but I'll say it'll be one reliever and one position player who will land back down on the farm: Harrison will be the position player because we traded for Navarro and he has the better stick, at least in terms of power. Jared Hughes will be the reliever who goes out, if indeed he is not the last man cut out of spring training. Nice to see him knocking on the door, though. He is another college pitcher from that perpetually very strong Long Beach State program. Beyond those two, if another cut is needed I think it will be another reliever. Just guessing, but given the options he has left, I'm thinking Moskos will go---though reading between the lines of the various moves the team has made this spring, it certainly appears that Hurdle would much prefer to have two lefthanders instead of one in his bullpen.

Ron Ieraci said...

Well, Will, Moskos was shipped out; one to go.

They're still debating internally whether to go with a heavy bench or bullpen for a couple of weeks. Two of the early roster guys are on a short-term lease, until Morton and Burnett are ready. All the bubble guys but Leroux have options left, so that shouldn't play in the decision too much.

Correia and J-Mac have been pretty spotty in the spring, and Bedard isn't a guy that goes deep into games, so that adds a little fuel to the discussion. And they still have to clear a 40 man roster spot for Cruz, so the housekeeping chores will go on for awhile yet.

WilliamJPellas said...

I didn't realize Moskos had already been sent to Indy. Hmmm. I still think Hurdle would prefer two lefties in the pen as long as they're not totally helpless against righthanded hitters. I guess I'm one of the few who is still relatively optimistic about Moskos. He'll never be worth the first round pick that was spent on him, of course, but that's in no way his fault. I think he'll be a pretty good setup guy and occasional closer at least along the lines of John Grabow in his better years when he was here. Moskos, I believe, has more ceiling than Grabow did, but you get the idea: a lefthander who isn't limited to facing lefthanded hitters only, and who can occasionally pick off a save or three here and there.

Ron Ieraci said...

They just sent him down yesterday, Will. he was solid this spring, not as good as his ERA but he did miss a few bats.

I agree with you - I think he's going to end up a MLB version of Grabow or Sean Burnett, as his splits, in limited appearances, indicate that he can work against batters of both persuasions.