Today the Pittsburgh Pirates cut eight players from Major League camp. There are still 42 players remaining in camp, with Chris Stewart expected to start the year on the disabled list. That means the Pirates still have 16 players to cut, and a little over a week to make those decisions. However, there’s not much mystery surrounding the remaining cuts. Here is a quick rundown of the positions and the remaining players in camp.
Starter - Russell Martin
Bench - Tony Sanchez
Expected Cuts - Nevin Ashley, Omir Santos
Notes - Neal Huntington said today that the Pirates won’t trade for a catcher with Chris Stewart expected to miss only a few weeks. Huntington said that Russell Martin and Tony Sanchez will start the year on the active roster. Chris Stewart is expected to start the year on the disabled list.
Starter - Andrew Lambo/Gaby Sanchez
Expected Cuts - Travis Ishikawa
Notes - I don’t know if Andrew Lambo has the job locked down, but his case was strengthened today when Chris McGuiness was sent to Indianapolis. It’s worth noting that Lambo has been getting a lot of starts, with McGuiness and Ishikawa playing a lot more later in the game against non-MLB players. I’d expect Ishikawa to eventually get sent down. The only question with Lambo is whether the Pirates decide to add outside help.
Starter - Neil Walker
Bench - Open Spot
Bench Candidates - Josh Harrison, Robert Andino, Michael Martinez
Notes - I think Harrison has the inside track here, especially after Brent Morel was sent down today. He can play second, third, outfield, shortstop in a pinch, and has had some success against lefties. However, I could see Andino and Martinez having a real shot at the final bench spot, just because of the playing time they have been receiving.
Starter - Jordy Mercer
Bench - Clint Barmes
Notes - Barmes has been playing more of a utility role this Spring, and will play more of a bench role, with Mercer taking over as the starter.
Starter - Pedro Alvarez
Notes - Nothing to note here.
Starters - Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Travis Snider
Bench - Jose Tabata
Expected Cuts - Jaff Decker, Chris Dickerson
Notes - The Pirates are high on Snider, and seem to be going with him as the starter in right field. I don’t expect them to be able to trade Tabata, which means that Decker and Dickerson will probably start the season in Triple-A.
Starters - Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Wandy Rodriguez, Edinson Volquez
Expected Cuts - Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton
Notes - I don’t think the Pirates will abandon the Edinson Volquez experiment before the season starts. The only question is whether Francisco Liriano’s injury prevents him from starting the season on Opening Day. Even if that does happen, I don’t see Liriano missing much time, which means Jeanmar Gomez or Stolmy Pimentel could get a start. Brandon Cumpton would be another option.
Starters - Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson
Position Battles - Jeanmar Gomez, Vin Mazzaro, Bryan Morris, Stolmy Pimentel
Expected Cuts - Andy Oliver, Jared Hughes, Jay Jackson, Daniel Schlereth, Adam Wilk, Zack Thornton
Notes - The position battle has three open bullpen spots and four players. One of those guys is expected to be traded by the end of camp. The Pirates could keep all of them if there is an injury.
There are three remaining question marks on the roster.
1. Will the Pirates add a first baseman or go with Andrew Lambo in the platoon role? My guess is Andrew Lambo.
2. Which reliever will be traded away? I’m guessing Vin Mazzaro.
3. Who will take the final bench spot between Josh Harrison, Robert Andino, and Michael Martinez? I still think Harrison has an edge.
Links and Notes
**The 2014 Prospect Guide is in stock on the products page of the site. The book features profiles, scouting reports, and grades on every player in the minor league system, including our top 50 prospects. The Prospect Guide has been mentioned as a resource several times on the Pirates’ broadcast, and has been purchased as a source of reference by opposing MLB front office members, opposing scouts, and media members. If it’s a good resource for them, it’s a good resource for you. You can order your Prospect Guide on the products page of the site.
**Austin Meadows Expected to Miss the Start of the West Virginia Season. He won’t get a full season in West Virginia, but he should be getting playing time down in Bradenton. Also in this article, Stetson Allie hopes to play a game Sunday.
**Clay Holmes Has Tommy John Surgery. The silver lining here is that he will only miss time from the 2014 season, and will be ready to go in 2015.