The buses are packed up and the Pirates are going to be on their way back to Pittsburgh before you know it. With its scrimmage against Altoona on Saturday and Opening Day on Monday, the Pirates have all but finalized its Opening Day roster.
Roster moves were made earlier today that put the roster at 26 men. Kyle McPherson, Jordy Mercer and Alex Presley were all optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Felix Pie, Vin Mazzaro, Lucas May, Ryan Reid, Carlos Paulino and Mike Zagurski were all re-assigned to Pirates Minor League camp.
With McPherson starting the season in Indianapolis, Jeff Locke has locked up the final rotation spot for the Pirates.
The rotation will be:
- A.J. Burnett (16-10, 3.51 ERA)
- Wandy Rodriguez ( 5-4, 3.72 ERA)
- James McDonald ( 12-8, 4.21 ERA)
- Jonathan Sanchez (1-9, 8.07 ERA)
- Jeff Locke ( 1-3, 5.50 ERA)
Jeanmar Gomez, who was in the running for the final rotation spot, will start off the year in the Pirates pen.
The bullpen will be:
- Jason Grilli (closer)
- Justin Wilson (lefty)
- Tony Watson (lefty)
- Mark Melancon
- Jared Hughes
- Chris Leroux
- Jeanmar Gomez
Yesterday, news broke that Brandon Inge – who was signed to a minor league contract – made the team out of camp. Despite his poor performance in Florida, Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle likes Inge’s veteran presence he brings to the team. That presence may not be felt at first as Inge may start the season on the disabled list. If Inge does start the season on the shelf, it opens a roster spot for utility man Josh Harrison.
The Pirates starting position players are as follows:
- Starling Marte
- Russell Martin
- Andrew McCutchen
- Pedro Alvarez
- Neil Walker
- Garrett Jones
- Travis Snider
- Clint Barmes
The Pirates bench will be comprised of Inge (when healthy), Harrison (if Inge is on DL), Gaby Sanchez, Michael McKenry and John McDonald.
Photo Credits: Associated Press