The Pirates made a series of moves today that may indicate their opening day roster. Jose Osuna, Kyle Crick and Kevin Siegrist were all sent out.
Jose Osuna and Kyle Crick were optioned to Indy. Kevin Siegrist has been reassigned to minor league camp. Big news for the ‘pen and bench.— Liz Bloom (@BloomPG) March 26, 2018
In addition, Rule 5 pick Jordan Milbrath and Jack Leathersich have been placed on waivers.
The end result of these moves is that, for the time being, the opening day roster appears to be set. It’ll include an eight-man bullpen consisting of:
The bench will be:
And, of course, the starting lineup:
C: Francisco Cervelli
1B: Josh Bell
2B: Josh Harrison
SS: Jordy Mercer
3B: Colin Moran
LF: Corey Dickerson
CF: Starling Marte
RF: Gregory Polanco
SP: Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl, Joe Musgrove
Of course, there are still some moves to be made, such as A.J. Schugel going on the disabled list and Ryan Lavarnway being assigned to the minors.
Presumably, once the Pirates are no longer playing in an AL park, one of the relievers, most likely Neverauskas or Santana, will go to AAA and a hitter, probably Osuna, will come up. That may not be written in stone, though, given Clint Hurdle’s belief that there’s no need to score runs in the late innings.
The decision to waive Leathersich may be the most intriguing one here, assuming that the Pirates didn’t simply conclude he can’t pitch. He has an option left and there were already two open spaces on the 40-man roster, so it wasn’t necessary from a roster standpoint. The Pirates can’t possibly be satisfied with their bullpen situation, as none of the competitors for the last several spots stepped forward, so they may be already be looking at possible trades or waiver pickups.
A couple of other issues that remained to be resolved are the destinations of Siegrist and Bryce Brentz. Siegrist has said he’ll look at other options if he doesn’t make the Pirates’ major league roster. Given his weak performance in spring training, though, his odds don’t seem good. Brentz has said he’d like to stay with the Pirates, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be claimed off waivers.
UPDATE: The Pirates have also reassigned Bo Schultz, Ryan Lavarnway and Daniel Nava.
The Pirates have cut Daniel Nava, Ryan Lavarnway and Bo Schultz from major-league camp.— Liz Bloom (@BloomPG) March 26, 2018