The Pirates Opening Day Roster is Nearly Complete

While it hasn’t been announced by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Alex Stumpf broke the news that Ji-hwan Bae, Canaan Smith-Njigba and Jason Delay will be on the Pirates Opening Day roster. Jason Mackey has also confirmed these names. Opening Day is Thursday.

Bae had a slow start to the spring, before picking things up. He came into camp with minimal big league time, so he likely won his spot in the last two weeks. He’s hitting .244/.292/.267 through 49 plate appearances.

Smith-Njigba has played well all spring, putting up a .326/.404/.522 slash line in 52 plate appearances. He also has minimal big league time, though that was due to a mid-season injury costing him more time with the Pirates.

Delay was battling it out for the backup catcher spot with Tyler Heineman, who split the majority of last year’s innings with Delay after Roberto Perez got hurt. Neither Delay nor Heineman did well at the plate this spring, but both are known for their defense. Delay is hitting .150/.261/.300 in 23 plate appearances.

Today is the final Spring Training game. The Pirates are off tomorrow. The open up on the road against the Cincinnati Reds.

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.

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I’m still a lil bitter about Swaggerty not making the cut but I’m really excited to see how this team plays. Hopefully the tides are turning


Pitchers, left fielder and right fielder are probably not happy about Swaggerty getting cut either. You simply can’t justify from a win now baseball perspective keeping both Suwinski and CSN and sending Swaggerty down.


Phillies World Series run may have gotten under BC’s skin and he thinks defense is for the birds. I don’t agree.


I see Swaggs back up sooner than later if he starts off in AAA where he ended ST. He basically missed all of 2021 and had a really slow start till the end of May last year. Most likely he would have been up again the end of last year if not for the issues with his baby, I am guessing they want him to get off to a hot start this year in AAA and then bring him up and then stay. Depends on who the weakest link would be between Joe, Suwinski, or CSN on who he will replace.


that sound great, except that CSN had a more difficult 2022 than Swaggerty, and has less ABs at the AAA level, and did not hit as well as Swaggerty did in spring training and has limited defense value in RF, where as Swaggerty makes the outfield a lot better defensively by upgrading the defense in CF (and then upgrading the defense in RF by moving Suwinski there).


Ok, thoughts on who goes or gets put on the 60 day to make room for Delay? The only 2 who comes to mind for going on the 60 could be Triolo or Brubaker. Not sure how it works for the 60 since Triolo was already assigned to the minors. Vilade is the only one who comes to mind getting DFA’d on the position side.


If they put Triolo on the 60-day DL, I believe he will get MLB service time (ie, no chc this regime does that). I think either Vilade or Cal Mitchell gets dropped. Outside chance of Yohan Ramirez.


Really looking forward to seeing Njigba. Obviously doesnt sound like the best defender but i like the bat, and i cant help but think about him charging Josh Winckowski a few years ago in the AFL. The Pirates have needed to add an enforcer since the Amir Garrett fight day.

Also, i’m trying to manifest getting both Njigba brothers to pittsburgh. Jaxon would make a nice trio with Pickens and Johnson 🙂


May not be the best defender, but compare to the other outfielders in the 26 he’s average!

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