The rosters are out for three of the four Pittsburgh Pirates full season minor league affiliates. The only roster remaining is the West Virginia Power. In the process of announcing rosters, some names get left off the list, with questions about where the player is expected to play. If it’s an injury, then we usually have that information in the article when the rosters are released. But some players are just stuck in no-man’s land, due to a numbers game. So where do these players go if they don’t make the Opening Day rosters?
A lot of these players will hang back in extended Spring Training, hoping to take a spot when an injury comes up at an appropriate level. This isn’t a great situation to be in, since it involves being the 26th or 27th man on the Triple-A roster. That’s why teams will try to make these players available to other teams who might give them a better opportunity.
Sometimes, a player is held back to work on something specific, or just for more evaluation. I’d imagine that’s why we haven’t seen Vance Worely on any rosters yet. I’d expect him to eventually report to Indianapolis, but his absence could either be due to the numbers game in Triple-A, the fact that he’s new to the organization and is a big reclamation project, or both. This happened a few years ago with Robby Rowland. The right-hander was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of Spring Training, then spent the first month and a half working in extended Spring Training before joining West Virginia.
Some of the players who are missing from the rosters end up getting released, although we’ve reported all of the known releases from the organization.
Usually these questions become clear when the extended Spring Training rosters are released. Extended Spring Training starts on Thursday with a few camp days. The Pirates play their first game on Monday. If you’re unfamiliar with Extended Spring Training (“extended”), it’s just like regular Spring Training, except that it’s mostly for players in short-season leagues. It’s a place where players can focus on development, and get live game action in an extremely controlled environment.
The majority of players in extended are guys who will play for Jamestown, Bristol, or the GCL this summer. You’ve also got some rehab players, and that list will be very popular at the start of this season, with Jameson Taillon, Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and Stetson Allie beginning their seasons in extended. Chris Stewart and Jeff Locke are also currently in Bradenton, doing their own Major League rehab work (which is different from an official rehab assignment — that only takes place at an official Minor League level). Finally, you’ve got all of the guys who didn’t make the full-season teams, but are still depth options for those teams.
I’ll have an Extended Spring Training roster posted when it is finalized. That will answer any questions wondering where a certain player might be. Until then, if you don’t see a guy on any minor league rosters, and you don’t see him listed in any transactions, assume he’s in extended Spring Training for one reason or another.
Links and Notes
**The 2014 Prospect Guide is in stock on the products page of the site. The book features profiles, scouting reports, and grades on every player in the minor league system, including our top 50 prospects. The Prospect Guide has been mentioned as a resource several times on the Pirates’ broadcast, and has been purchased as a source of reference by opposing MLB front office members, opposing scouts, and media members. If it’s a good resource for them, it’s a good resource for you. You can order your Prospect Guide on the products page of the site.
**If you missed it over the weekend, here are all of the season preview articles:
- 21 Reasons Why the Pirates Are Going to Have Another Good Season in 2014
- The Pirates Rotation Has Some Red Flags, But Still Projects to Carry the Team
- The Pirates Won’t Have to Wait For Gregory Polanco to Have a Top Outfield
- Pirates Will Once Again Have Strong Infield Defense and Offensive Questions
- The Pirates are Returning a Bullpen That Was One of the Best in Baseball
- The Pirates Have a Bench That Can’t Hit Right-Handers