Ciriaco optioned; Rodriguez, Bowker make team

Dave Arrigo, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates roster is starting to take shape, and very few question marks remain after a couple announcements following today’s win against the Rays. Pedro Ciriaco has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, meaning Rule 5 pickup Josh Rodriguez has earned a spot on the 25-man roster as a reserve infielder. Both players had pretty strong springs, making the choice a difficult one. Ciriaco hit .333/.326/.429 in 42 Grapefruit League at-bats, while Rodriguez hit .303/.410/.394 in 33 at-bats. The final decision likely came down to roster management and Rodriguez’s vastly superior minor league track record. As a Rule 5 pick, Rodriguez would likely be lost if he did not make the team, while Ciriaco had an option remaining. Rodriguez is also coming off a very nice season in the Cleveland Indians’ system, hitting .298/.379/.485 in 442 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A. Ciriaco, on the other hand, hit .265/.281/.387 in 502 plate appearances at Triple-A.

Neal Huntington also revealed today that catcher Chris Snyder is likely to begin the season on the disabled list. That means Jason Jaramillo, who has had a scorching spring (.429/.484/.714 in 28 at-bats), will make the team as the backup catcher. It also keeps a roster spot open for outfielder John Bowker. Bowker’s spot was previously being threatened by the possibility that the team could go with three catchers on the roster, due to minor injuries to Snyder and Ryan Doumit.

Early in spring training, I was prepared to be upset with several of the final roster decisions made by management. I expected Corey Wimberly to make the team over Rodriguez, sending the Rule 5 acquisition back to Cleveland. I assumed someone like Garrett Atkins would be on the bench while Steve Pearce went back to Triple-A yet again. Finally, I did not think the front office would manage to fit Bowker onto the roster, meaning he would have likely been lost on waivers. However, none of those things happened. Rodriguez, Pearce and Bowker all made the team. I have to say, I am much more satisfied with the look of the final roster than I expected to be.

Author: Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R5MVBMSHVK32HSZ5CILUF56SGM They Call Me The Whiz

    Big-time agreement, especially the last part.

  • Anonymous

    I sat behind the first base, four rows from the field today, and I saw the Pirates BEAT the Rays 5-4. The MLB network is showing the final score Pirates 5 Rays 4. Those facts being the case how can you state, as you did above, “after a couple announcements following today’s loss to the Rays.” Your writer was obviously not watching the same game that myself and 8,003 other fans watched this afternoon at McKechnie Field.

    • Anonymous

      Its says win in this article, Benjamin

  • Anonymous

    So Matt got the outcome switched……. Japan started a war against the U.S. ……sometimes humans make mistakes.

  • http://pittsburghlumberco.com/ MattBandi

    Oops. Freudian slip on my part.

  • Anonymous

    But what does this mean for the Indy infield?

    Will d’Arnaud go back down to AA? What might that infield and bench look like?

    Right now the Indianapolis infield has Brown, Toregas, and AAA Rule V draft pick Travis Scott at catcher (assuming Scott get’s returned? or sent farther down the line). Fields, Marte are at the corners with Hague deserving of a promotion. What about the forgotten Jeff Clement? Will he primarily serve as the DH? Finally in the middle infield, Ciriaco, Friday, d’Arnaud, with Harrison deserving of a promotion.

    Also what about Jim Negrych who did amazingly in Indy last year? He could be a productive middle infield bench option as well.

    The Indians bench also contains Brad Chalk (fellow AAA Rule V) as well as super utility Wimberly?

    Any roster clarification in Indy? Will this AAA organizational filler block the promotions of three promising prospects in Hague-Harrison-d’Arnaud?

  • Anonymous

    But what does this mean for the Indy infield?

    Will d’Arnaud go back down to AA? What might that infield and bench look like?

    Right now the Indianapolis infield has Brown, Toregas, and AAA Rule V draft pick Travis Scott at catcher (assuming Scott get’s returned? or sent farther down the line). Fields, Marte are at the corners with Hague deserving of a promotion. What about the forgotten Jeff Clement? Will he primarily serve as the DH? Finally in the middle infield, Ciriaco, Friday, d’Arnaud, with Harrison deserving of a promotion.

    Also what about Jim Negrych who did amazingly in Indy last year? He could be a productive middle infield bench option as well.

    The Indians bench also contains Brad Chalk (fellow AAA Rule V) as well as super utility Wimberly?

    Any roster clarification in Indy? Will this AAA organizational filler block the promotions of three promising prospects in Hague-Harrison-d’Arnaud?

  • Anonymous

    I like the decisions keeping Pearce, Rodriguez and Bowker on the roster. Last year they kept Young, LaRoach and Crosby, I like the three we kept this year better.
    IMO, I don’t think anyone is going to be blocked, I think the filler players will get playing time, but the real prospects will play. They have log jams throughout their system, the two class A teams and GLC team have a lot of guys that are going to get part time duty.
    When you think about it, that can be a good thing for the system, nice to have players that you want to get playing time for.

  • Anonymous

    I like the decisions keeping Pearce, Rodriguez and Bowker on the roster. Last year they kept Young, LaRoach and Crosby, I like the three we kept this year better.
    IMO, I don’t think anyone is going to be blocked, I think the filler players will get playing time, but the real prospects will play. They have log jams throughout their system, the two class A teams and GLC team have a lot of guys that are going to get part time duty.
    When you think about it, that can be a good thing for the system, nice to have players that you want to get playing time for.

  • Anonymous

    I like the decisions keeping Pearce, Rodriguez and Bowker on the roster. Last year they kept Young, LaRoach and Crosby, I like the three we kept this year better.
    IMO, I don’t think anyone is going to be blocked, I think the filler players will get playing time, but the real prospects will play. They have log jams throughout their system, the two class A teams and GLC team have a lot of guys that are going to get part time duty.
    When you think about it, that can be a good thing for the system, nice to have players that you want to get playing time for.