Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday: Day of Rest; Roster Make-Up, Hughes Waived, Bucs Drop Finale

OK, the spring storyline was that the brass wouldn't cut Hutch because he was the get for Frankie and Clint loves Jared Hughes, so ditto. But guess what? Ya still gotta get some outs to go with the love, and they didn't. Both were let go (Hutch was optioned and Hughes waived) so the bullpen/fifth starter/last bench spot battlefields became a bit less crowded.

They have 14 pitchers listed, and that's two too many. The set-in-stone arms are Gerrit Cole, Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon and Chad Kuhl to start and Tony Watson, Felipe Rivero, Daniel Hudson, Juan Nicasio and Antonio Bastardo from the pen. Three from this list stay: Trevor Williams, Tyler Glasnow, Tyler Webb, Wade LeBlanc and AJ Shugel.

Tyler Glasnow: Will he stay or will he go? (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The 14 position guys are C Fran Cervelli; 1B Josh Bell & John Jaso; 2B Josh Harrison & Adam Frazier; SS Jordy Mercer; 3B David Freese, OF Cutch, Gregory Polanco & Starling Marte and bench player C Stew, IF Phil Gosselin and one of these two: Alen Hansen or Jose Osuna. JJ and Fraze have played some spring ball in the pasture; J-Hay has also logged outfield time in the past, key since there is no true fourth OF'er on the roster. Jung Ho Kang is in no-man's land and will remain there for an indeterminable period.

The pitching is deeper than last year's squad. The lineup is pretty much the same, but the bench will miss S-Rod and Matt Joyce and will try to make it up in versatility. The one area where they fall short is on defense; Sean Rodriguez could play everywhere and well while this year's club has no strong middle defender or experienced bench outfielder.

Trevor took a big step in his battle for a roster spot (photo Joe Guzzy/Pirates)

Yesterday's Game: The Cole Train kept his heater up today; a trio of Philly hitters liked it there and took him deep (all solo shots) for a sorta meh warm-up for the season. Trevor Williams topped a fine spring by tossing four scoreless frames, giving up just two hits and whiffing a half-dozen. He should be in line to earn a roster spot, and if he does, he didn't back into it. Buc minor-leaguers filled in on the hill and, well, proved why they're minor leaguers as Philly spoiled the Bucco Grapefruit League finale by an 8-2 count. Jordy quietly had a nice spring, hitting .302 and showing some muscle. He doubled twice today and Danny Ortiz added a couple of more knocks in a losing cause.

  • Whoa - the Pirates placed Jared Hughes on release waivers. He still had an option remaining; we guess the release rather than option has to do with his $2.825M salary which is only guaranteed for 45 days after release. Anyway, best of luck to a fine gent.
  • Charlie Deitch of the Pittsburgh City Paper has five "bold" Pirate predictions that run the gamut.

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