So if this is basically the every day line-up for argument’s sake once Marte returns (kinda intriguing I might add)……
…..is there any reason that in September we shouldn’t FULLY stock the bench?
G Sanchez 1b
D’Arnaud (or DeJesus) INF
All of these guys are on the 40-man (except for DeJesus). Being able to freely play match-ups post-6th inning without worrying about blowing through your bench options has to be at least a slight strategic advantage, right? And in a race so tight, why would we not try to maximize every single strategic advantage, no matter how small?
Pie, Presley and d’Aranud can all serve as pinch runners (I envy the DBax being able to use Campana like this late). Lambo, Gaby and Buck provide some pop. Barmes, d’Arnaud and JHey provide some positional flexibility.
So they probably aren’t going to roll with an 11-man bench (last September it was typically a 9-man bench). But other than worrying about Indianapolis’ play-off chances, my question is why wouldn’t the Pirates carry a fully stocked bench in September, especially given Hurdle's love of the double-switch and the Bucs’ propensity for playing extra-inning games that seem to drag past the 15th inning (at least 1 each of the past 3 seasons). Hell I'd even DFA Andy Oliver and add Matt Hague too.
As for the arms, I'd add at least 5 or 6 over the next 2 weeks, a couple at a time:
LH - Locke, Johnson (who looks like the starter Sunday) - one of these guys can serve as LOOGY
RH - Welker, Reid, Pimentel, Cumpton
If nothing else, having the extra arms means there would be no need to ever use Melancon or Watson or Wilson or any of the other "really good" relievers (Gomez?) in anything but a higher leverage situation. Helps keep everyone fresh, plus makes it easier to go Righty-Lefty-Righty all in one inning based on match-ups, etc.