First Pitch: Creating a Roster Spot For Cruz

First Pitch: Creating a Roster Spot For Cruz

Juan Cruz will make the Pirates' bullpen, and the team is expected to announce a corresponding roster move in the morning. It would only make sense for that move to come from a bullpen arm, since the Pirates have plenty of bullpen options on the 40-man roster, and bullpen options are the easiest commodity to come by.

I've seen some arguments for guys like Chris Leroux, Jared Hughes, or Duke Welker. But if I'm making the decision, the player to go would be Daniel McCutchen.

McCutchen might not be a popular choice due to his stat line in 2011. He's a versatile pitcher who can spot start, pitch in long relief, or pitch in a key situation on a pinch. But there are two reasons why McCutchen is expendable.

First of all, McCutchen doesn't have dominant stuff. Chris Leroux averages 93 MPH with his fastball, and spent time over the off-season working on his off-speed stuff. Jared Hughes throws a 96 MPH sinker. Duke Welker throws 95-96 MPH consistently, and pairs his fastball with a sharp sli...

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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, 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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