The Pittsburgh Pirates announced their roster for Opening Day on Sunday morning, making the final four roster moves to get down to 25 players. Alen Hanson and Phil Gosselin won the final two bench spots, while Chris Stewart and Gregory Polanco were both cleared to play on Opening Day. Jose Osuna was optioned to Indianapolis, while Jackson Williams, Jacob Stallings and Danny Ortiz were all reassigned to minor league camp. The full roster can be viewed below.
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The final bench spot really came down to Phil Gosselin, who had a solid spring and has played parts of four seasons in the majors, or Jose Osuna, who had a terrific spring, but only has a half season of Triple-A experience. Alen Hanson was said to be fighting for a job, but it would be hard to believe that the Pirates would risk trying to get him through waivers if they felt he didn’t do enough to make the team. As it was, he ended up hitting .333/.393/.426 in 23 games, while playing five different positions. Like with Osuna, it’s important to remember that Hanson played winter ball into January, so they weren’t coming into camp with a long layoff from game action like most players. That will have an affect on the stats.
Polanco and Stewart have both been at Pirate City playing in games and taking extra at-bats. Stewart caught yesterday’s game. Both players have done enough to show they are able to go on Opening Day. Polanco was battling a minor shoulder injury, and Stewart suffered a left groin strain on March 24th, as he tried to run down to first base. The Pirates wanted him to catch two games down in Pirate City before they declared he was ready for Opening Day.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.