Charlie Morton had a strong rehab start tonight for Indianapolis, and is on pace to return to the Pirates this weekend to make his first start on the 14th. The Pirates will have to make a move on the 25-man roster to make room for Morton.
After Morton returns, A.J. Burnett should be soon to follow. Overall the Pirates will have to remove two players from the 25-man roster, and one pitcher from the rotation. What they actually do is anyone’s guess, and could change in the coming weeks due to injuries, performance, or any other factors. Here is my guess for how the moves will go down.
When Morton returns the Pirates will move to a five man rotation. They’ll have to remove someone from the 25-man roster. My guess is that the person removed will be a bench player.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I think Matt Hague should be the one to go down so that he can get regular playing time. However, it seems that the Pirates will be giving him time in the majors in a double platoon situation at first and third. With Hague getting this type of playing time, it would make sense to send one of Josh Harrison or Yamaico Navarro down instead. I would guess Navarro since Harrison can play the outfield.
First comes the rotation decision. That will likely be Kevin Correia moved to the bullpen, which was the plan prior to Burnett’s injury.
Next comes the roster decision, which will likely come from the bullpen. My guess would be Jared Hughes. Everyone else in the bullpen seems locked in, while Correia would likely take the long relief role, making Hughes expendable.
Links and Notes
**The Pirates were off today. They resume their schedule tomorrow, starting a ten game road trip.
**Prospect Watch: Gerrit Cole shines in his pro debut.
**Charlie Morton made a strong rehab start for Indianapolis. Here is Kristy Robinson’s recap of the start, and Nancy Zinni’s recap of the Indianapolis Indians game.
**Pirates Notebook: Two More Starters to Join Club by End of April.