Candidates To Be Added To The 40-Man Roster

Owens is a guarantee to be added.

The Pirates not only will face a lot of difficult decisions in removing players from the 40-man roster, but also in adding them.  Two factors contributing to the crunch are the numerous trades in which the team acquired prospects and surprising seasons from several players who’ve been around a while.  What follows is a list of the more significant players in the system who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft, as well as a few players who’d be eligible for free agency if not placed on the roster.

ALSO READ: Candidates to be Removed From the 40-Man Roster

Eric Fryer – Fryer has had a big season at Bradenton, hitting for power and average, and showing good plate discipline.  Unfortunately, he also missed a third of the season when he fell prey to the hit-in-the-face syndrome that’s been sweeping the team’s far system.  Fryer’s a good defensive catcher; he’s thrown out over 40% of opposing base stealers in 2010 and 37% in 2009.  Although he turned 25 at the end of the season, his performance was good enough, and catching prospects are rare enough, that the Pirates should seriously consider adding him to the roster.

Jim Negrych – Negrych spent some time in AAA due to injuries and got off to a good start, but the Pirates sent him back to AA after he cooled off.  He has to rely entirely on his bat and hasn’t put up the kind of numbers he needs to be considered a prospect.  He won’t be added.

Jesus Brito – Brito struggled at West Virginia, showing why the Pirates were able to acquire him for Brian Bixler despite his overall .353 BA in 2009.  He won’t be added.

Brian Friday – When he hasn’t been struggling with injuries, Friday has hit just enough to stay on the fringes of the radar screen.  He projects as a utility player and not a regular, making it doubtful that he’d be selected in the Rule 5 draft if available.  My guess is that the Pirates won’t add him to the roster.

Alex Presley – After coming out of nowhere to tear up the Eastern League, Presley continued to hammer the ball in his first five weeks in AAA before slumping in August.  The problem is that he’s 25.  Like Friday, I don’t think he has the upside that would make him a good candidate to be taken in the draft.

Starling Marte – Marte is eligible for the Rule 5 draft after four years of pro ball because the Pirates signed him at age 19.  He’ll be added to the roster.

Brandon Moss – After perhaps resurrecting his career with a strong AAA showing, Moss faces heavy competition for a corner utility spot from some combination of Ryan Doumit, John Bowker, Jeff Clement, Alex Presley and Steve Pearce.  Just a guess, but I think the Pirates will let him leave as a free agent.

Rudy Owens – He’ll be added.

Jared Hughes – Hughes has made some strides in AA, especially since moving to the bullpen.  For one thing, he’s finally missing some bats.  But I can’t see adding him to the roster.

Mike Crotta – Several factors probably make Crotta attractive to the team’s current management:  He’s 6’6”, he’s an extreme groundball pitcher, and his fastball sits around 94 mph.  He struggled through much of his first two months in AAA, but he’s pitched much better since early July.  I’ve wondered for some time how Crotta would do in the bullpen, as he’s sometimes had a pattern of pitching very well early in games but getting hit hard starting around the third inning.  It’s conceivable the idea could appeal to some other team enough to lead them to pick him in the Rule 5 draft.  The Pirates might send him to the Arizona Fall League to evaluate him for possible addition to the roster.

Tony Watson – Watson was lights-out as a reliever, nearly unhittable against LH batters.  He’s generally pitched well since moving to the rotation.  Scott Sauerbeck proved to be Cam Bonifay’s best Rule 5 selection, so the possibility of a team taking a prospective LOOGY wouldn’t be anything new.  Still, if the Pirates saw Watson in that light they probably would have promoted him to AAA instead of moving him to the rotation.  For that reason, I don’t think they’ll add him to the roster, but they should consider it.

Jeff Locke – A lock to be added.

Nate Adcock – Despite having a good season at Bradenton, Adcock doesn’t have great stuff and may only project as a middle reliever.  He’s far from being major league ready.  There are reasons for the Pirates not to add him to the roster, but I think there’s a good chance they will.

Craig Hansen – Hansen is currently on a minor league contract as he tries to overcome Parsonage-Turner Syndrome.  He’s made limited progress.  The Pirates might try to bring him back on another minor league deal.  It’s very unlikely they’d add him to the 40-man league roster.

Jean Machi – Machi got some attention with a big showing in winter ball and looked like a potential callup, but he’s been mediocre with Indianapolis due to erratic control.  The Pirates may try to sign him to another minor league deal, but they won’t add him to the roster.

Dan Moskos – Despite his meltdown in AAA, the Pirates will add Moskos to the roster.  Power lefties don’t grow on trees.

Mike Dubee – The Pirates plainly don’t consider Dubee’s stuff sufficient to mark him as a prospect, but he attracts attention because he’s consistently put up excellent numbers at Altoona.  He won’t be added.

Diego Moreno – Excluding players who were just drafted, Moreno has the best velocity in the system.  He’ll be added to the roster.

Tom Boleska – When he’s been healthy enough to pitch, Boleska has showed some promise.  He’s pitched a little better in AA than he did before his promotion from Bradenton.  He probably hasn’t been consistent or healthy enough, though, to earn a place on the roster.

Duke Welker – Welker has made a surprising transformation from a low-90s-throwing, very hittable starter to an upper-90s-throwing reliever who misses bats and the plate with great frequency.  He’s still too much of a work-in-progress to get added to the roster, but it’d be interesting to see what would happen if he started throwing strikes.

Summary

Locks to be Added: Marte, Owens, Locke, Moskos, Moreno.

Possibilities: Fryer, Friday, Presley, Moss, Crotta, Watson, Adcock.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

WTM

Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.

Candidates To Be Removed From 40-Man Roster

Next Story »

Why Don’t We Trust Neil Walker?

  • Anonymous

    The Pirates keep picking up fringe players and adding them to the mix at 1st and right and there is not enough playing time to give them all a fair shot. It seems like we have about 30 players vying for one or two spots. All they do is muddy the water and nobody really gets a fair shot. I would get rid of most of these players and start Doumit and Jones with Pearce backing them both up or platooning with them. They just have to live with Doumits fielding until they get a real power hitting corner. Pearce just has to prove if he fits in.

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    16 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    7 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More