There are less than two weeks remaining before the start of the regular season. I detailed the bullpen situation for the Pittsburgh Pirates today, noting the players who are competing for the final two spots. There are about four players competing for those spots, but beyond those four players, the Pirates have eight pitchers in camp who have no shot at making the team. That means they’ll have ten players who get cut from now until the end of camp. And it sounds like those cuts could start coming soon.
“We’ll start that process after the off-day,” Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle said about the bullpen decisions. “We’ll have a meeting Thursday.”
All of the Pirates’ starting options are up to four or five innings per start. That leaves very limited opportunities for all of the guys in camp, which means the Pirates need to start trimming roster spots down. I’d expect those moves to start taking place either Thursday or Friday.
Here is the list of players remaining in camp. The Pirates have 46 active players remaining in camp, along with Brandon Cumpton and Chris Stewart, who are both expected to start the year on the disabled list.
Andrew McCutchen returned to game action today, playing his first game in about two weeks. Despite the lack of playing time this Spring, Hurdle doesn’t have any concerns about him being ready for the start of the season.
“He’s in a good place. He felt good today,” Hurdle said. “If we need at-bats, we can go get them at Pirate City. We can get six to eight a day…I think he’ll get the at-bats that he needs. I think he’ll get the innings in the outfield that he needs.”
The Pirates sent Corey Hart and Andrew Lambo over to Pirate City today to get extra at-bats. Both players took an at-bat every inning for the first few innings in each game. McCutchen could do the same if the Pirates want to get him extra work.
Stewart Rehab Update
Chris Stewart returned to baseball activities today, participating in some drills, including base running. He’s still going to need some time to get back into games, and then some time to get built up for the season. Expect Tony Sanchez to start the season in Pittsburgh as the backup catcher. With Stewart’s progress, I wouldn’t anticipate him being out long.
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.
Forgot to mention Andrew McCutchen in the upcoming cuts.
I think the signs point to Andrew Lambo being the last bench guy, (and he should be), not Jaff Decker.
I don’t agree with anyone about Decker deserving to get it. Lambo has shown good things in all the important places this spring, regardless of what his average is. He has pinch hit well, came through in some tough situations, and off some tough pitchers. His first base fielding has been good, as has his outfield play. I think he has shown that he will be more than adequate in his role.
Once Chris Stewart comes off the DL, it will then be interesting to see who goes down, though likely it will be Tony Sanchez, barring other injuries.
Those of us who were miffed at the musical lineups last year better get ready for a musical rotation and pen to go with the revolving lineup this year. With all the versatility the pirates have it would be foolish not to use it. As long as they win it’s ok with me, how about you?