The Pittsburgh Pirates will release their Wild Card rosters tomorrow morning at 10 AM. Clint Hurdle gave a few hints on the makeup of the roster, but wouldn’t reveal any names until tomorrow. Based on what we know, I wanted to do a prediction on who might be on the team. Below is just my guess, based on what Hurdle said in his press conference today, along with a look at how the Pirates handled the roster during the final month of the season.
Last year the Pirates carried nine pitchers in the Wild Card game. Clint Hurdle said that they would carry nine again this year, although the names won’t be announced until tomorrow.
The last two spots for the pitchers are where I feel things could be up in the air. Last year the Pirates carried a second starting pitcher, in the event that things didn’t go well for the starter. They would have had Vance Worley as a backup plan if there was a tiebreaker on Monday. I think he will still be the backup plan.
The final spot, which I have going to Bobby LaFromboise, depends on whether the Pirates want a third lefty in the bullpen. I went with LaFromboise as my guess over Jeanmar Gomez because the Giants have a lot of left-handers, which means carrying three guys makes a lot of sense.
I wrote earlier about how Russell Martin said he feels good enough to play. In that article, Clint Hurdle talked about how the Pirates will probably carry three catchers.
All of the usual starters, plus Barmes as the backup shortstop. I’ll go into this more in the next section.
The Pirates carried 17 position players in September. With nine pitchers in the Wild Card game, that only leaves room for 16 position players. After running through all of them, I got down to three guys for the final two spots: Brent Morel, Andrew Lambo, and Chase d’Arnaud. I keep going back and forth on this. Part of me thinks they’ll go with Morel because of his ability to back up third base. I think d’Arnaud has a good shot to make the team due to his availability as a pinch runner. Andrew Lambo actually got more playing time than either of them in September, and got more time than Jose Tabata. It’s possible Tabata could be in this mix as well. I think the cut will come from this group, and the actual player cut will depend on what the Pirates are prioritizing.