As expected, the Pittsburgh Pirates shuffled their roster following their final game of the spring. Some moves were expected while others came as a surprise.
C Taylor Davis, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, OF Bligh Madris, INF/OF Hunter Owen, C Michael Perez and C Jamie Ritchie have been reassigned to the minor leagues.— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 5, 2022
We have also placed OF Anthony Alford, LHP Sam Howard, RHP Max Kranick and RHP Luis Oviedo on the 10-day injured list.
The reassignment of the catchers comes as a big surprise since it leaves the Pirates without a back-up for starter Roberto Perez, but manager Derek Shelton says the team will sign a back-up catcher within the next 24 hours.
The main competition was between Michael Perez and Jamie Ritchie, as Taylor Davis is ineligible for Opening Day after he was released from the organization in the off-season. Ritchie posted a .333/.375/.400 slash line on the spring, beating Perez’s line .125/.250/.313.
Another surprise was the demotion of Bligh Madris. Considering that Anthony Alford and Greg Allen will start the year on the IL, Madris was a solid fourth outfielder candidate after he posted a .368 average with 3 HR, 4 RBI and a 1.376 OPS on the spring.
However, it seems that the Pirates will use Cole Tucker, Michael Chavis and Hoy Park as platoon outfielders for the time being, barring any signings or unexpected promotions.
Expect more roster moves to come throughout the next few days.