Last night I wrote about how the Pittsburgh Pirates shouldn't give the first base platoon to Travis Ishikawa, and instead should give Andrew Lambo a shot. Instead, they optioned Lambo to Triple-A as part of today's big wave of cuts. That means that Ishikawa is currently projected as the other half of the first base platoon. Neal Huntington didn't sound like Ishikawa was locked into that position earlier today.
The Pirates shouldn't be locked in with Ishikawa as their initial first base option. You just need to look at his career .737 OPS against right-handers in 684 at-bats to see why. Ishikawa wouldn't be a bad depth option if none of the other options worked out. However, there's no upside with Ishikawa, and the Pirates need to try and get some upside from their first base position. If they go with Ishikawa, they're basically hoping for "Garrett Jones 2013" numbers as the best case scenario.
The current internal alternative to Ishikawa is having Gaby Sanchez playing first base ...
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.