Pirates Make Another Round of Cuts as Opening Day Roster Takes Shape

The Pittsburgh Pirates made another round of cuts on Thursday morning, trimming five players from the roster. All of the players were reassigned to minor league camp. It leaves them with 30 players on the active roster ahead of Opening Day on Sunday. They have said that the final moves could come as late as Saturday, but right now it looks like Elias Diaz, Jung-ho Kang and Jared Hughes will all start the season on the disabled list, so there aren’t many decisions left. We will have more on these moves later, but for now, here are the players cut today:

Jim Fuller

A.J. Schugel

Jorge Rondon

Ed Easley

Jacob Stallings

  • It’s interesting James Loney is now available and TB let Jaso go. It seems like Jaso now has more upside than Loney. I don’t know why other sites would think Loney could land in Pittsburgh. On another note this OBP approach the Pirates have made will mean they have to me more aggressive on the basepaths.

  • HartHighPirate
    March 31, 2016 5:26 pm

    Thurs Mar 31 2016
    S Rod played CF today, hit a grand slam home run 🙂
    All you S Rod haters throw away your empty glasses 🙂

  • The iOS app makes my p2 viewing so much easier same with comments. Thanks Tim!!!!

    • Scott Kliesen
      March 31, 2016 12:28 pm

      Very happy to be able to click the app and read the latest article and thread w/out having to log in daily!

  • Jim Fuller has been impressive, I thought they might keep him. I hope he stays with the Pirates in triple a, he can be of some use.

  • Per Trib…Leubke and Lobstein in the bullpen. Last roster spot between Figueroa, Floriman and Rogers.

    • I hope Rogers gets it. I still think they may trade/move Morse. It seems like they don’t have room for both Rogers and Morse, though I’d like to have them both on the bench.

      • Likewise. Unless Morse shows some in-game power, he adds very little. Last year he put up decent numbers after joining the Pirates but that was driven by a BABIP that was 50 points higher than his career average. (Which confirms what I saw, which was a lot of seeing-eye and bloop singles.)

        • Morse has always been more of a line drive hitter than a home run guy, though. Career .332 BABIP with basically no wheels. Sure, he needs to put up more than a .105 ISO again, but he’s not going to hit a ton of HRs.

      • Unless you trust S Rod as the primary backup SS for the first 1-2 months, you gotta take one of Florimon or Figueroa.

      • Really? I think Figueroa seems to be a better all around athlete. Not against Rogers just like the versatility of Cole.

      • They need a real backup SS so there isn’t room for both Rogers and Morse. And when
        Kang comes back there really won’t be enough room for both. I would like to see Florimon get the call over Fig because I think he is a better fielding SS and that is the primary position either will be backing up.

        • Ngoepe is a better fielding SS than Florimon and would only be a phone call or text away. Offensively he wouldn’t add anything, but neither would Florimon.

          • And neither would Figueroa add anything offensively. One of the biggest mysteries to me this spring training is all the love for Figueroa. Guy is 28 going on 29 years old with a grand total of 51 MLB at bats.

            • Its the MILB OBP that gets people’s eye.

              • ZIPS projects Figueroa will have an 85 wRC+, Florimon projects at 63, and Gift at 52. All below average, but not the same.

                • So ZIPS projections are the basis for wanting the guy who is 6 months younger and has 1/12 as many MLB at bats? Sorry, but that’s ridiculous.

                  • I’m not sure how much the number of mlb at bats help when they look like the ones Florimon has had (career .199/.262/.295.) Its not just zip projections, its where they come from: Figueroa walks more than he Ks, while Florimon Ks like the other Pedro did while not walking much at all. Neither has much power. If you want to make the argument Florimon is the better option because he has an edge playing short and is a better pinch runner, that would be a decent argument, but not anything to do with hitting.

                    • When you say that Figueroa walks more than he strikes out that has to be based solely on his minor league numbers, because 51 MLB at bats ( with 4 K’s and 4 BB’s) are way too small a sample size to draw any conclusions from. Tough to assume he will continue that in the major leagues. But I agree that Florimon is a better defensive SS and could be a useful pinch runner.

    • Lobstein hasn’t been named to the pen yet. They could go outside. Luebke has been named though

      • That’s good–with Vogelsong as a long man and Luebke as a second lefty, Lobstein’s most valuable role would seem to be as a depth in AAA where he can continue to start.

      • I stand corrected. Just heard that NH said he would be looking at other cuts and Lobstein isn’t a guarantee. Thanks.

  • Huntington yesterday seemed to suggest that there were some health issues affecting Morse – could be DL?

    • That sounds like a possibility and a good plan. I would not be surprised. Then they can fit another shortstop like Figs or Flori, and still keep Rogers.

  • I am wondering if someone will be picked up at the last minute for the bullpen.

  • No surprises here, and the only two issues remaining IMO are
    1. Does Fig’s get the utility IF slot? I hope so.
    2. Does Sean Rodriguez survive? Freese, Morse, Harrison, and Figs have defensive positions covered, and his bat has been anemic for the Bucs. I am sure his W/K Ratio from 2015 has not escaped the OBP police, and his 2016 ST has been “more of the same”. And Rogers is finishing strong and now leads the Pirates in Walks with 11.

    On draft prospects, Nick Senzel of Tennessee hurt his wrist while batting yesterday. The day before he hit two HR’s against MTSU which is not your normal mid-week cannon fodder.

    • Checked the spring training tracker. This has to be a mistake. Does Sean Rodriguez have an option left?

      • Yes, he burned an option in 2008 and 2009. He was sent down once since then, but it was only for ten days and it takes 20 days to burn another option. He has more than five years of service time, so he has a right to refuse a minor league assignment. All that being said, he obviously isn’t getting sent down, but he technically has an option left.

        • As long as he is in Pittsburgh they will be playing with 24 men vs other teams 25. He is worth less than zero – has negative value IMHO

          • Wait, you dont like Rodriguez?

            Couldnt tell from the 2-3 posts a day insinuating he is the worst baseball player ever.

            • Scott Kliesen
              March 31, 2016 12:29 pm

              Bruce isn’t one to sugarcoat his feelings, is he?

            • Well he’s no Sammy Khalifa, but last year he was pretty bad. I may direct you (bruce) to Brian Bixler if you want to see the worst player in the batters box i’ve ever seen in the major leagues

          • So not true Bruce. Did you see what the Cubs paid for Zobrist? Now SRod isn’t he but the difference isn’t so different.
            A few years ago TB Rays had Zobrist at 2nd and SR at Short, that means SR isn’t chopped liver.
            He may not be a favorite of yours but he’s a valuable player to have on the bench.

          • Did you watch yesterday’s game? SRod couldn’t make a play on a slow roller in the first inning that cost them a run. He almost threw the ball away on his second chance, and he booted the easy play in the 5th that ended up as an unearned run. He is a terrible defensive SS. And when he came up with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out he couldn’t get a run home. SRod is a black hole on the Pirates roster.

            • Scott Kliesen
              March 31, 2016 3:27 pm

              I’m not a fan of Serpico by any means, but it’s just ludicrous to judge a player on one ST game. Especially one who has been a ML player for as long as he has been. Sometimes things aren’t as they appear.

              • How about one regular season game? Hurdle made the mistake of starting SRod at SS against the Reds on Labor Day last
                season, and he made two errors that cost them the game in the middle of the pennant race. Pretty sure that was the last time SRod played SS last season. He is a terrible defensive SS. Most times things are exactly what they appear. Would you really be happy with SRod as the primary backup at SS, seeing him play there once or twice a week? The Pirates aren’t, which is why Florimon or Fig are going to make the team. Would you rather have SRod play the OF instead of Joyce? Or 1st base instead of Jaso or Morse? SRod is completely unnecessary for this team.

                • Scott Kliesen
                  April 1, 2016 10:24 am

                  Picking one particular player’s performance in one particular game and claiming it cost the team the pennant is inaccurate at best.

                  Maybe if nobody ever got injured your claim that SRod’s place on team is unnecessary would ring true. But the truth is SRod has value in the fact he is serviceable at numerous positions.

                  • Where did I say that game cost the Pirates the pennant? And SRod is serviceable at a lot of positions other than SS. Problem is that there are now better options at all of them.

                    • Scott Kliesen
                      April 2, 2016 12:33 pm

                      After reading your post a 2nd time I see I misread it. However, the way in which you worded it makes it seem as if that is what you were conferring. My apologies.

                      As for better options at those positions, that’s debatable. I certainly hope he doesn’t get anything close to regular playing time, but I don’t agree that all of the other depth options are better than him.

        • So John, remember I am new to this, we COULD send him down,
          if he refuses the assignment they do not have to pay him the 2.5 m?
          Is that correct? Its cheaper that what we had to do with Tabata
          (oh sorry, I probably ruined someone’s day mentioning that name)

          • Tabata didn’t have five years of service time and he didn’t have options either, so it’s a totally different situation

            . Rodriguez can either accept the assignment or not, but he gets paid regardless and the Pirates are on the hook for his entire contract if he stays with the team(whether it’s in the minors or majors), or the difference in salary between what he’s owed and what a team picking him up is paying.

            It’s a situation that almost never comes up, so it’s no big deal not knowing the rules. Usually if a player has that much service time and the team doesn’t want him on the 25-man, they just release him.

        • computer error… double post

  • Easley and Stallings were just afterthoughts for many of us,
    but at least for a while, they are one step from Pittsburgh.
    Who would be up first?

    Also, would Diaz be on the MLB or minor league DL? Why?

    I am trying to learn about these things.

    • MLB disabled list because he’s on the 40-man roster, played in the majors last year and got hurt during camp.

      I don’t know who would be up first between those two, but Easley is the one with MLB experience and 3 1/2 seasons in AAA compared to none for Stallings, so you would assume he would be up first.