After committing to Jonathan Sanchez for the Opening Day roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a commitment to Brandon Inge for a roster spot. The team had until noon today to make a decision on Inge, or allow him to walk as a major league free agent. They didn’t wait that long, with Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington announcing shortly after 9:00 AM that Inge had made the team.
“This is one of those where it’s a body of work,” Huntington said on the reason for adding Inge. He noted that Inge was coming back from shoulder surgery last year, and was recovering well. However, Inge was hit in the shoulder blade with a fastball, and is currently suffering from that. The Pirates will shut Inge down for a few days to be cautious with the injury and allow him to get back to 100 percent. It’s possible that he could open the season on the disabled list.
“It’s still to be determined, but that certainly is an option,” Huntington said. “As we sit here today we want to see how long it takes to get the discomfort and the soreness out of there.”
Just like with Sanchez, the Pirates will eventually have to clear a spot on the 40-man, but that doesn’t have to be today. The team only had to commit a roster spot to Inge today, and won’t have to clear a spot for him until they submit the final roster. The Pirates currently have Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison fighting for bench spots. If Inge is healthy for Opening Day, that wouldn’t leave a spot for either player. If Inge has to start on the disabled list, one of Mercer or Harrison could make the team until Inge is healthy.