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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pirates Set Their Wild Card Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates released their Wild Card roster today, making the final decisions on who they will have available to them in tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants. The rosters are below, and thoughts on the rosters are below that.

Pitchers (9)

Edinson Volquez

Mark Melancon

Tony Watson

John Holdzkom

Jeff Locke

Jared Hughes

Justin Wilson

Vance Worley

Bobby LaFromboise

Catchers (3)

Russell Martin

Chris Stewart

Tony Sanchez

Infielders (7)

Ike Davis

Gaby Sanchez

Neil Walker

Jordy Mercer

Josh Harrison

Clint Barmes

Brent Morel

Outfielders (6)

Andrew McCutchen

Starling Marte

Travis Snider

Gregory Polanco

Jose Tabata

Andrew Lambo

Yesterday I posted a prediction for the roster. There were only two changes from that prediction to the current roster. The first change was Brent Morel over Chase d’Arnaud. I mentioned yesterday that the final spot looked to be down to Morel, d’Arnaud, Andrew Lambo, and Jose Tabata. It appears the Pirates are going with Brent Morel’s ability to play third base, rather than d’Arnaud’s ability to be a pinch runner. They do have a pinch running option off the bench in Polanco.

The other difference was Jeff Locke over John Axford. I thought that the Pirates would go with Bobby LaFromBoise over Jeanmar Gomez to give a third lefty in the bullpen. That’s what they did, although Locke over Axford gives them a fourth lefty. The Giants have a lefty-heavy lineup, and it appears the Pirates are loading up against that.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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BTW, have you seen Clint’s batter order for tonight? Never seen the order like this. Mercer 2nd, Martin 4th, Walker 6th, and Snider 8th. Interesting since Travis has batted 2nd almost all month.


And he would have batted second against a RHP – The keys to the game…
1, Bucs Star Right Hand Hitters – J-Hay, Cutch, Marte and Martin need to get rolling early
2. Need solid defense early – nothing sloppy or silly – like we seem to have every once in a while
3. Don’t get stung by the Giants “Killer Ps” – Posey. Panik and Pence. Keep them off the bases and have them hit with the bases empty…



You got a lot of this right. The stars never got rolling. And while you missed the other Killer “P” — the Panda — the killer “B” Brandon was able to clear the bases when others got on before him.

Ron Loreski

I would have d’Arnaud on the roster over Morel. Look at the impact Terrance Gore made for the Royals last night. d’Arnaud can give the Pirates that late inning speed that can change the game.

IC Bob

I would rather have anyone on the roster instead of Moral. I believe he has pictures of someone because he has done nothing to merit a place on any post season roster.


Can’t say I’m upset by leaving Axford off. I understand it’s mainly to keep lefties on… but I’d rather see Jeanmar than Axford. There’s a reason he could not hold down closer jobs with other teams. As a reliever, he just walks to many guys.


There’s a reason nobody in their right mind would ever put Jeanmar into a leverage situation, as well.


Disagree. Jeanmar is misplaced as a short reliever. He did very good work as a starter and long reliever last year — and is not suited for short relief, what he has been called to do this season. I think that’s the mistake they’ve made with him. He becomes expendable when you can bring Locke or Worley out of the pen in that situation. Axford walks people in any situation.


That’s a fair point. When you look at the mid-priced FA starting pitchers Bucs could sign next year, Gomar compares favorably. If Bucs need to cover two months sans Morton, Gomar might be one of the better options available.


23 out of 25 on your predictions…pretty darn good. I’d be really worried about bringing Locke in from the pen, not just because it would mean Volquez has likely tanked, but also because it requires a different mindset from starting. Locke has a total of 11 relief appearances in his entire pro career, 7 of which came in rookie ball. He’s just not a reliever at this point in his career.

IC Bob

You have to have someone that can be able to pitch all night if we run out of pitchers late. Not likely to be used but a necessity.


I don’t really want to see Locke pitch again, but he’s pretty much on regular rest and likely wouldn’t be used unless it was an emergency. And if used, would more than likely start a clean inning with the expectation of going 2-3 innings and only if Volquez imploded early… in which case things would be looking pretty bad for the Bucs anyway.


well, if it were a tie game in extra innings he might be able to convince himself it’s just like a start…

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