Every year the battles in Spring Training are pretty much limited to the same three areas: the 5th starter role, the bullpen, and the bench. It only makes sense that this would be the case. These are the least important spots on the team. You don't want to decide the important spots based on a limited amount of playing time against various levels of competition in Spring Training games. But for the lesser roles, it's not as big of a deal to use Spring Training as a tie breaker.
That has been the case this year. The lineup is set. The first four spots in the rotation are set. The only position battles come from the rotation, bullpen, and bench. I covered the 5th starter battle, and the bullpen battles already. Now it's time to take a look at the bench.
One spot on the bench has already been decided, as Matt Diaz and Garrett Jones will be platooning in right field, putting one of that duo on the bench every night. Another spot will almost certainly go to Ryan Doumit, as I...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.