The Pirates finalized their Opening Day roster today in front of the 5 pm deadline. While nothing probably qualifies as a surprise, the unforseen move was placing Chris Leroux on the 60-day disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle that was injured on Tuesday.
The Pirates also placed starting pitchers A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list, Burnett retroactive to March 26 and Morton to March 29.
Those moves mean reliever Jared Hughes and backup infielders Josh Harrison, Yamaico Navarro and Matt Hague, the only player on the 25-man roster who has yet to debut in the majors, will all be in Pittsburgh tomorrow and active for Opening Day.
Leroux's injury certainly comes at a convenient time for the organization, as he was out of options and was a bit erratic this spring. It will be interesting to see exactly what kind of rehab schedule he follows. Evan Meek apparently showed enough to earn his spot and I am very curious to see how Clint Hurdle and Ray Searage plan to use him. The team will start the season with 11, rather than 12, pitchers, but will still carry seven relievers.
Maybe the most interesting note from today's transactions was the date the team used to retro Burnett on the DL. Clearly he is close to ready, and both he and Morton should be available when the Pirates go to a five-man rotation in mid-April.
One of the bench players will undoubtedly get sent down at that point, and Kevin Correia's role would become unclear. More moves are sure to follow and apparently they will come sooner rather than later.
Note: Juan Cruz will wear No. 37. Great 37s in Pirates history?
(H/T to Cocktails & Kareem)