What The Indianapolis Infield Should Look Like

A few weeks ago I previewed the 2011 Indianapolis Indians infield, with a projection of how that lineup would look.  The summary of that projection:

C - Jason Jaramillo (Dusty Brown)

1B - Matt Hague

2B - Josh Harrison (Jim Negrych)

SS - Pedro Ciriaco (Brian Friday)

3B - Andy Marte

DH - Jeff Clement or Josh Fields

Candidates for outfield starting roles: Corey WimberlySteve Pearce

Could arrive in May: Chase D’Arnaud, Jordy Mercer

Things changed, and possibly became more complicated, this past weekend when the Pirates cut ten players, including Chase D’Arnaud and Brian Friday.  Both players were sent to Indianapolis, with D’Arnaud expected to play shortstop, and Friday expected to play second base.

If Friday is starting at second base, that complicates things for Josh Harrison, who might have been one of the most deserving players from the 2010 Altoona infield to be promoted.  Harrison plays mostly second and third base.  If Friday is starting at second, it would be assumed that Harrison would play at third.  However, third base could be taken with one of the Andy Marte/Garrett Atkins/Josh Fields group.

Also factoring in to the decision are Pedro Ciriaco, Jordy Mercer, Corey Wimberly, and Jeff Clement.  Mercer could return to Altoona this year at the start of the season, where he could work on his power production and plate patience issues from 2010.  Ciriaco has been making a case to start off the season in the majors, and has even been playing some left field.

Wimberly is almost certain to be sent down, and could factor in to the middle infield situation.  He won’t spend time in the outfield, since that is now taken up by Alex Presley, Gorkys Hernandez, and Andrew Lambo.  Clement would likely be the designated hitter, which means he could compete with one from the third base trio for playing time.

Harrison needs to be in the starting lineup in Indianapolis.

The most important thing here is getting Josh Harrison playing time as a starter.  If Friday is playing second, that moves him to third, where he is blocked by the three non-roster invitees.  Priority should go to the prospect, and the only prospect in this equation is Harrison.  One of the Atkins/Marte/Fields trio could make the majors, but the other two need to either be released, or playing off the bench, possibly competing with Clement for playing time as the designated hitter.

In my opinion, the infield should look like this:

C - Jason Jaramillo (Dusty Brown)

1B - Matt Hague

2B - Brian Friday (Jim Negrych)

SS - Chase D’Arnaud (Corey Wimberly)

3B - Josh Harrison (Josh Fields/Andy Marte/Garrett Atkins)

DH - Jeff Clement or Josh Fields/Andy Marte/Garrett Atkins

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Tim Williams

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.

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  • Anonymous

    I think this sets up for 1 of the NRI 3 to make the team 1 to get cut and 1 to make AAA AS CI/DH

  • Anonymous

    I think the rotattion has a similar situation if McDonald Morton Ohlendorf are adequate I would think Lincoln and Owens are long term replacements come June for Maholm and Correia. Olsen stepping in for Owens if he’s not ready or for 1 of the previous 3 due to performance or injury. Leaving Morrris for a full season in AAA with little chance at 2011 appearance.

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