The Pittsburgh Pirates made eight roster cuts after Tuesday’s game, getting down to 40 players on the active Spring Training roster with nine days left before Opening Day. They optioned pitchers Luis Ortiz and Yohan Ramirez to Indianapolis. They also reassigned six players to minor league camp. That group includes catcher Carter Bins, pitchers Daniel Zamora, Cody Bolton and Carmen Mlodzinski, infielder Andres Alvarez and outfielder Chavez Young.
Ortiz posted a 10.50 ERA this spring. He will be either the first or second depth option for the Pirates if they need a starter early in the season. That depends on whether or not they go with a five or six-man rotation. He will likely have some challenges for the top depth option from Mike Burrows and Quinn Priester as the season goes along, but all three should/could see starting time with the Pirates this year.
Ramirez did solid work for the 2022 Pirates in his 22 appearances last year, but he’s had an awful spring, allowing 11 runs in 5.1 innings. He will be among the top depth options for the bullpen.
All of the players reassigned to minor league camp should be with Indianapolis this year, though there could be some roster decisions that keep some of them back in Altoona to start the season. Bolton looked good this spring until his last outing, which can be said about Mlodzinski as well.
While both were longshots to make the Opening Day roster, Young had a .550 OPS this spring, while Alvarez had a .548 OPS. Bins was also going up against big odds, but he managed to put up a 1.178 OPS in 16 plate appearances spread over 11 games.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Bednar on the mound facing the heart of the japanese lineup, awesome stuff!
It’s been a really fun and exciting tournament. I hadn’t paid much attention in the past, but I’m a big fan now.
Calm before the storm :
Swaggerty to Indy. Unfortunately it’s coming
It was decided before camp opened. Only injury, not performance, could change this from happening.
But we can take solace in knowing Swaggerty will be a big part of this team very soon if he continues to play like he has this Spring.
I hope you guys are wrong, because Swaggs has earned the 4th OF position, behind ‘Cutch in LF, Reynolds in CF, and Suwinski in RF. Do we keep Connor Joe? That should be the only question about the OF. He would be the 5th OF, possibly alternating with Suwi if a LHSP is on the mound, and with ‘Cutch when ‘Cutch is the DH. So, 5 OF
My IF would have 6 players – Choi and Santana at 1B, Hayes 3B, Cruz SS, Castro and Bae as 2B/Utility Players. Castro plays 2B, SS, and 3B; Bae plays 2B, SS, CF.
Catchers – 2, brings us to 13 position players, 13 pitchers.
Mathias is going to take a roster spot, and, increasingly, it’s looking like one of the OF spots. I don’t know whether it should be him or Joe or neither, but it very likely will be both.
They’ve assembled quite the selection of spare parts. Just for kicks and giggles I put together a mock roster at AAA and AA, and I found enough dudes left over to fill out most of a AA+/AAA- roster by itself. Alvarez and Young are on that one, along with most of the lefty arms they brought into camp.
You could make 2 full AAA rosters with the entire group of players.
One with mostly prospects, the other with mostly Quad-A types.
Oviedo, Ortiz, Nicolas, Burrows, Priester
2B Nick G
LF Frazier / Mitchell
RF Gorski / Scott
Oviedo should be the 5th starter for the Pirates and VV 6th. You probably overlooked Mlodzinski who had 22 Starts at AA and has looked VG in ST, so he would take Oviedo’s place as a SP at AAA in your projections.
Sorry, I just noticed Mlod in the list of RP’s. Not sure what the Pirates are going to do with he and Nicolas regarding SP or RP.
Suwinski isn’t going to be in AAA on 3/30.
Based on this, I’m assuming you have Bae, Swaggerty, Smith-Njigba and Joe making the opening day squad; also assuming Stephenson and Garcia on the DL, and a ML pen of Bednar, Crowe, Holderman, De Jong, Underwood, de los Santos, Hernandez and Moreta. No other lefties, otherwise you left off one of the previous.
If so, you haven’t accounted for Mathias, Marcano, Maggi, Alvarez, Young, Andujar, Shackleford, Palacios or Macias at the plate (I’ll assume Vilade is toast), or Huang, Bido, Zastryzny, Perdomo, Smith, Stratton, Ogle, MacGregor or Webb on the hill (assuming Y Ramirez is toast). There are others, but that’s just the guys who have AAA or MLB experience, except for Alvarez.
I’m telling you, there’s an entire Indy JV team.
2B Castro / #Bae
3B Hayes / Mathias
C Hedges / Heinaman
RF Joe / #Canaan
Ortiz was one of the Stuff+ darlings this spring including his work in WBC. He’ll be back if he stays healthy nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx nojinx
And one more nojinx for good measure.
Nicolas still in camp?
They sent Nicolas to minor league camp a couple weeks ago with Nunez, Peguero and Jared Jones.