The Pittsburgh Pirates made three cuts on Monday morning, optioning Jose Osuna and Kyle Crick to Indianapolis, while reliever Kevin Siegrist has been reassigned to minor league camp.
Earlier in the day, Alan Saunders talked about the performances or Crick and Siegrist and how it could affect them at the start of the season. Unless the Pirates make a late addition, it appears now that the final three spots on the Opening Day roster will all go to pitchers from the group of Jordan Milbrath, Dovydas Neverauskas, Edgar Santana and Josh Smoker. That would mean an eight-man bullpen and a four-man bench.
UPDATE 10:15 AM: Analysis from Tim Williams…
After this move, the Pirates have very few cuts remaining, with the certainty that they will now be opening the season with 13 pitchers. The only position players remaining in camp are Bryce Brentz — who is currently on waivers — and Ryan Lavarnway. Those two will be cut at some point in the next few days, with Brentz in waiver limbo to see if he remains in the organization.
The moves with Siegrist and Crick aren’t a big surprise, based on what Alan wrote earlier this morning. The remaining bullpen options are Josh Smoker, Jordan Milbrath, Edgar Santana, and Dovydas Neverauskas, with that group battling for three spots on Opening Day.
I’m guessing one of those spots will go to Smoker, since he’s the only lefty remaining, and the Pirates typically carry two left-handers. Another spot can go to Jordan Milbrath, who is a Rule 5 pick. That would likely leave Santana and Neverauskas battling for the remaining spot on the roster.
I would expect Osuna to return to the team soon when they get back to 13 position players. By sending him down today, the Pirates could recall him on April 5th, which is the start of their second homestand of the season. Osuna isn’t the only option though, as the team could recall someone like Max Moroff.
There’s also the possibility of the team adding someone from the outside between now and the start of the season, or even between now and when the Pirates return home on April 2nd.
UPDATE 11:00 AM: Neal Huntington will be talking to the media soon about the roster. Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette is reporting that Jordan Milbrath and Jake Leathersich have both been put on waivers. That would make it appear that the Opening Day roster is set, but a lot of semi-interesting players have been DFA’d or released in the last few days, so there may be moves coming up. With Bryce Brentz placed on waivers over the weekend, that would open up three roster spots for the Pirates. We will have more after the talk with the media.