Comments on: Winter Leagues Recap: Johnson Helps His Team To Championship Series Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:48:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Dreker Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:18:29 +0000 Just for reference, the 40 man roster has Locke, Wandy and Justin Wilson on it, all of them should be starters this year but might not due to need. Tony Watson is the only legit lefty out of the pen. Andy Oliver is there but his control is horrible and getting worse each year, so I don’t see him blocking anyone.
Mike Zagurski is an NRI and has the advantage over Johnson of four partial seasons in the majors. He has never had much success during those stints.
Nate Baker should be a lefty out of the Indy bullpen this year and he had some success at the role, so he days as a starter may be done. He is also 3+ years younger than Johnson.
Aaron Poreda is still around too, though I would easily put him last on this list.
There is also a chance the Pirates could sign someone else, even if it is a veteran lefty on a minor league deal.
I would say Johnson’s chances get better if Jeff Locke wins the 5th starter spot. It would put possibly just one lefty in the pen and only Wilson definitely ahead of Johnson on the depth chart. Like I said, Oliver is a huge wild card, with emphasis on wild, though he may get a chance before Johnson does if the need arises

By: John Dreker Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:02:27 +0000 I talked to Tim about him last night and I personally think he is blocked by too many players to make an impact with the Pirates. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was sold/traded at the end of Spring to a team that could use him better. Tim brought up a good point that there aren’t many lefties in the system at his level, but I still see him too far down on the depth chart.
What this off-season may be doing, is getting him a better look during Spring Training. He should be ahead of most pitchers early on, so he may see some decent mound time in those Feb ST games.
Due to age, I wouldn’t put him on any prospect list, but I’ll say he could be in a Pirates uniform as a lefty out of the pen at some point(not Opening Day) and it wouldn’t surprise me. It would surprise me if he was a key member of the pen though.

By: jg941 Thu, 17 Jan 2013 15:52:11 +0000 You guys have written a ton about Kris Johnson this off-season. Any reason to think he should move up your prospect ranking list? Is he still even considered a “prospect” at 28?