Two of the three outfield spots in Pittsburgh look promising for the long term, with Andrew McCutchen under control through the 2015 season, and Jose Tabata under control through the 2016 season. However, the third spot is up for grabs. In the short term, the Pirates are going with a platoon of Garrett Jones and Matt Diaz, which could be a strong combo if both players play up to their previous platoon splits. The Pirates do need...
The rest of the Pirates’ middle infielders…. So much of what is going to happen with these players is going to depend on what the Pirates elect to do about their back-up infield roster spots. Ciriaco? Rodriguez? Wimberley?
Brian Friday – R/R, 5′ 11″, 180 lb
Friday was the Pirates’ 3rd round draft pick in 2007. He reached AA Altoona in 2009 and was their regular shortstop, but did not have as good a season as he’ hoped, committing 25 errors in 102 games and hitting .265 with 7 homers and 46 RBI. Friday was promoted to Indianapolis to begin 2010. He began the season hitting a solid .270 with 6 RBI in April. That slid to .242 in May, but he homered twice and had 11 RBI. Friday got hot in early June, going 10-for-26 (.385) in the first 9 days, which raised his overall average to .277. But then Friday was clipped by a base runner sliding into second base. The ankle sprain he suffered kept him on the Disabled List in the middle part of the season. When he returned, his hitting had suffered, and Friday hit just .233 over the rest of the season. Friday struck out 69 times over the season, but those were about evenly distributed between before-the-ankle-injury (36 times in 50 games) and after-the-ankle-injury (33 times in 43 games). Friday played most of his games at second base for the Indians, though he also got in a bit of time at shortstop. The 25-year-old Friday was invited to the major league camp for Spring Training, but he was reassigned to the minor league camp on Monday. The Pirates have indicated that they will want Friday to be the regular second baseman at AAA Indianapolis in 2011.