Diving into the depths: Pittsburgh Pirates
This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Pittsburgh Pirates Rotation 1. Paul Maholm 2. Ross Ohlendorf 3. Zach Duke 4. Charlie Morton 5. Kevin Hart 6. Daniel McCutchen 7. Brad Lincoln 8. Donnie Veal 9. Chris Jakubauskas 10. Jeff Karstens 11. Tim Alderson 12. Virgil Vasquez 13. Brian Burres 14. Brian Bass 15. Daniel Moskos Hart will be the heavy favorite to hold off McCutchen for the last spot, but my guess is that he’ll finish the season in the pen. I see McCutchen as the superior option, and Lincoln, Veal and Alderson could all earn shots as the season progresses. Bullpen 1. Octavio Dotel 2. Joel Hanrahan 3. Brendan Donnelly 4. Evan Meek 5. D.J. Carrasco 6. Javier Lopez 7. Steven Jackson 8. Jeff Karstens 9. Brian Bass 10. Donnie Veal 11. Vinnie Chulk 12. Jack Taschner 13. Chris Jakubauskas 14. Anthony Claggett 15. Daniel McCutchen 16. Wilfredo Ledezma 17. Brian Burres 18. Justin Thomas 19. Daniel Moskos 20. Ramon Aquero Yeah, there’s going to be a lot to sort through here. Jose Ascanio, Neal Cotts, Craig Hansen and Tyler Yates will also be in camp with the Pirates, but none of them may be healthy enough to compete for a job in spring training. Dotel, Donnelly and Carrasco should bring stability to the pen, though it still looks like a pretty weak group. I’m penciling Jackson into the last spot, even though he was recently bumped from the 40-man roster.
Catcher 1. Ryan Doumit 2. Jason Jaramillo 3. Luke Carlin 4. Hector Gimenez First base 1. Jeff Clement 2. Garrett Jones 3. Steve Pearce 4. Brian Myrow Second base 1. Akinori Iwamura 2. Delwyn Young 3. Ramon Vazquez 4. Bobby Crosby 5. Andy LaRoche Third base 1. Andy LaRoche 2. Ramon Vazquez 3. Bobby Crosby 4. Neil Walker 5. Pedro Alvarez Shortstop 1. Ronny Cedeno 2. Bobby Crosby 3. Ramon Vazquez 4. Argenis Diaz Barring the late addition of Hank Blalock or another first baseman, it appears as though a starting job is Clement’s to lose. If he struggles in spring training, then the Pirates could go to Jones at first base and Ryan Church in right field. LaRoche is listed on the second base depth chart since there’s been some talk of moving him there once Alvarez is ready. I don’t think it will happen, but it’s possible the Pirates will make the switch come August. Left field 1. Lastings Milledge 2. Ryan Church 3. Delwyn Young 4. Brandon Moss 5. John Raynor 6. Brandon Jones 7. Jonathan Van Every Center field 1. Andrew McCutchen 2. Jonathan Van Every 3. John Raynor 4. Lastings Milledge 5. Ryan Church Right field 1. Garrett Jones 2. Ryan Church 3. Brandon Moss 4. Delwyn Young 5. Brandon Jones 6. Jonathan Van Every With Church, Vazquez, Crosby and Jaramillo penciled into bench spots, there are just two openings on the Pirates, one of which will go to Clement unless he throws it away this spring. The other should go to an outfielder from the group of Young, Moss, Raynor, Jones and Van Every. Van Every’s chances would be helped a bunch if the Pirates don’t look at either Milledge or Church as a legitimate backup center fielder. Still, Young is probably the favorite.