A few notes on the 25-man roster…
–We heard on Wednesday that Joe Beimel will make the roster, which is a move that was expected. Rob Biertempfel has an update on another bullpen move, noting that manager Clint Hurdle has said Jose Veras will also make the team. The Pirates signed Veras to a minor league deal, with a $1 M salary in the majors. Veras is coming off a 2010 season where he put up a 3.75 ERA in 48 innings, with a 10.1 K/9 ratio and a 5.4 BB/9 ratio with the Florida Marlins. His control has always been bad, with a career 5.0 BB/9 ratio in 176.1 innings, although he gets a lot of strikeouts due to his high velocity. He won’t be playing a big role in the Pirates’ bullpen, joining Chris Resop in the middle innings.
-The additions of Beimel and Veras as locks for the bullpen means that one spot is currently up for grabs. The other spots are expected to be taken by Joel Hanrahan, who is the closer, Evan Meek, Chris Resop, and Jeff Karstens. My guess is that the one remaining spot will go to one of three possibilities: Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, or the loser of the Scott Olsen/Charlie Morton battle for the 5th rotation spot.
Hart and Ascanio are both out of options, meaning they would need to make the team, start the season on the disabled list, or be designated for assignment. Both players are coming off injuries in 2010, so a trip to the disabled list to start the season isn’t out of the question. As for Olsen, he strained his left hamstring and will miss a week with the injury. A week doesn’t really take him out of the race for the 5th starter role, but it does put him behind in the standings a bit, giving Charlie Morton an edge. Olsen has been injury plagued throughout his career, so there’s a chance he could also end up on the disabled list before the end of Spring Training. That could make room for one of Ascanio or Hart in the bullpen.
The 25-man roster projection has been updated. The 40-man payroll projection already reflects the additions of Veras and Beimel in the projected total.