David Todd Podcast: Final Roster Spots, Nicasio, Indianapolis Rotation

I’m normally on David Todd’s show on ESPN 970 on Wednesday. However, David is heading down to Bradenton today for Spring Training, which means two things. Number one is that you’ll probably see a lot of Untappd check-ins for me on Twitter in the next week as I take David to the best local craft beer places. The second thing is that we did our weekly interview yesterday. The podcast is below, and here are the highlights:

**We started off discussing the battles for the final spots on the roster. I feel that Cole Figueroa has an inside track, Alen Hanson would only make the team if Jung-ho Kang can’t start the season, and the final bullpen spot is up in the air. I also think they’ll go with Michael Morse and Jason Rogers off the bench, and would be fine with Sean Rodriguez and Figueroa holding down the defense with those two on the roster.

**Juan Nicasio, to me, looks more like a typical Ray Searage reclamation project than Jon Niese and Ryan Vogelsong. We talked about him as the number six starter. I’ll have an article on Nicasio either today or tomorrow.

**Speaking of starting depth, we discussed how the Indianapolis rotation could shake out. I could see one of Steven Brault or Trevor Williams going to Altoona at the start of the year, with Kyle Lobstein getting a spot in the Triple-A rotation.

**We discussed my articles yesterday on Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker at shortstop, and Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes going to West Virginia.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    March 9, 2016 9:56 am

    Moroff or Hanson should make the 25, if it was about having the best possible roster in Pittsburgh. But, they will stick with Rodriguez and Figueroa for a couple of months until its obvious neither belong on a major league roster of a contender…
    We’re stuck with Morse, regardless of how he hits – although he has hit pretty decently this Spring. We gave away a second round pick pitching prospect and Broxton for Rogers, so we’re stuck with him – sink or swim. You add the above, with Stewart, that is a pretty atrocious bench – especially hitting wise….

    • I would agree that Hanson has shown enough so far to give an extremely hard look at when it comes to the 25-man roster, especially with Kang not being ready on April 3rd. As for Moroff, let him face some Triple-A pitching consistently before making that claim.

    • At least Stewart can get his usual seeing eye single a little more often as a
      PH when he is not starting as long as Jaso is in the lineup and can be
      an emergency catcher.

      • they really don’t want jaso catching…..its not bad knees, its concussions….do you want your first baseman getting a ball to the face and missing 3 months recovering when he’s catching in the 14th inning because we used stewart as a pinch hitter?

    • I agree…Figueroa, Florimon…these are AAAA players. They need to do better than glove first guys who will bat around .150. Not good enough for a contender.

      • they can all hit above .150- .they can probably duplicate rafeal belliard offesnse, probably not a whole lot above that though for any long stretch

    • moroff has never set foot on a AAA field, he has no shot and will be cut next week. Hanson will likely start the season with us I believe for a few weeks until kang is ready, then he will go to AAA

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    March 9, 2016 9:51 am

    Rotation remains a HUGE concern…Niese has been, well, Niese – not a #3, really a #5 on a good starting pitching staff. Locke is well, Locke – we know what he brings and doesn’t bring. Vogelsong is 2-3 years past his prime, but hopefully can pitch well for at least 2 months, when reinforcements may be available from Indy.
    Given there are 3 weeks left in Spring Training, Glasnow or Taillon need to step up and grab a spot and upgrade the rotation.
    Bullpen looks okay, although a second LH reliever hasn’t stepped up yet. Melancon, Watson are their usual steady presence. Nicasio has looked pretty good…

    • “Given there are 3 weeks left in Spring Training, Glasnow or Taillon need to step up and grab a spot and upgrade the rotation”


      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        March 9, 2016 4:06 pm

        Okay, get ready for rough April and May….since you are confident that the likes of Niese, Locke, and Vogelsong can and will do better….

        • I never said I was confident in that. What I said was Glasnow and Taillon won’t be coming north with the team. The Pirates will keep both down until at least they get an extra year of eligibility and most likely keep them down until they pass Super 2 status. That’s how they’ll operate. It’s amazing how many times you ignore the CBA in your posts.

    • You need to get with reality….Zero chance whatsoever that Glasnow breaks camp and comes north. .0001% chance that Taillon breaks camp and comes north

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        March 9, 2016 4:07 pm

        Okay, get ready for rough April and May….since you are confident that the likes of Niese, Locke, and Vogelsong can and will do better….get with this reality…our rotation is crap, after 1 and 2, and we all knew that coming into Spring Training…our only hope are the young guys

        • You have paid attention to what Glasnow has done in ST, right?

        • You’re not wrong, but I think the worst thing you can do is try to cover up one mistake (terribly shallow rotation) with another (rushing prospects before they’re ready).

          The “rushing prospects” narrative gets abused IMO, but I do think Glasnow sets up to be the poster child for this type of thing, a la Andy Oliver. Big, wild arm who’s still far more thrower than pitcher pushed onto the biggest stage where you know he’s gonna revert to what he knows, which is to try throwing the ball through a freakin’ wall.

          Gotta sleep in the bed they’ve made at this point.

        • we know- and we are- we aren’t controlling the team, and if we were, vogelsong would still be unsigned and we’d have fister or latos in the rotation at the very least……and probably stil have morton since he’s better than what we don’t have…..

    • they’ve made it clear that they aren’t planning on bringing anyone up afer 2 months….