Spots Opening Up In The Bullpen

At the start of the off-season, the bullpen looked pretty crowded.  The Pittsburgh Pirates had locks in Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, and Jeff Karstens.  They added Joe Beimel and Jose Veras, and almost immediately proclaimed that each reliever would make the majors, despite their non-roster invitee status.  The final spot was seen as a battle between out-of-options relievers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio, and the loser of the...

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Battle of the Bench and Today’s Pitchers

Today’s spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies allowed us to see all of the players battling for bench spots on the Pirates’ roster as well as some interesting pitchers.  As has been reported many times, there are really only 3 bench spots available since RF is a platoon and there will be at least 2 catchers on the team (Snyder & Doumit if both are healthy and still in the Pirate...

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Update On Players Who Are Out Of Options

 With a handful of players who are both on the bubble and out of options, the Pirates will be facing some tough roster decisions at the end of March. What follows is a quick rundown of players fighting for roster spots who have no options remaining. I’ve omitted players who are locks to make the team, like James McDonald and Joel Hanrahan. Also, as most of you are probably aware, the Pirates secured an extra option for Steve...

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2011 Spring Training Battles: Bullpen

Yesterday I reviewed the battle for the fifth starter spot, noting that I saw it as a battle between Charlie Morton and Scott Olsen.  As reader “BLZR” pointed out in the comments, that’s pretty much the approach the Pirates will be taking this Spring, according to pitching coach Ray Searage.  My guess is that the loser of the battle between Morton and Olsen will take one of the open bullpen spots.  But what about the...

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The 2011 Bullpen

A year ago at this time, the 2010 bullpen was largely incomplete, consisting only of Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Javier Lopez, and a few minor signings competing for spots, such as Wilfredo Ledezma, Vinnie Chulk, Jack Taschner, and Brian Burres.  In the following weeks, the Pirates added D.J. Carrasco, Brendan Donnelly, and Octavio Dotel, giving the bullpen a major boost to start the 2010 season, and leading to one of the few strong...

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