Today's spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies allowed us to see all of the players battling for bench spots on the Pirates' roster as well as some interesting pitchers. As has been reported many times, there are really only 3 bench spots available since RF is a platoon and there will be at least 2 catchers on the team (Snyder & Doumit if both are healthy and still in the Pirate organization come Opening Day).
Here's what I've learned based on this game, a few other games I've seen, and some practices I've attended:
Rodriguez is no lock to make the Opening Day roster, despite being a Rule 5 pick.
The backup middle infield spot is a battle between Rule 5 Josh Rodriguez and last year's acquisition Pedro Ciriaco. Prior to spring training, I figured JRod would make the team and Pedro would start at AAA, due to (1) the Pirates had the #1 pick in the Rule 5 draft so surely they would pick someone who could stick and (2) ...