Day 39: Pirates @ Twins; Bucs cut seven

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Arrived at the McKechnie Field clubhouse at 7:45 this morning only to find out the Pirates were reassigning seven players to the Minors. That list includes: RHP Brian Bass, RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Jeremy Powell, RHP Steven Jackson, RHP Anthony Claggett, RHP Vinnie Chulk and C Luke Carlin.

Now that I’ve got the nearly two hour drive to Fort Myers out of the way, it’s time to note the significance of all this…

  • With the roster moves, the Pirates now have 30 players remaining in camp. Of those 30, two — Joel Hanrahan and Jose Ascanio – are expected to start the year on the DL.
  • Both relievers Jack Taschner and D.J. Carrasco are sitting pretty with less than a week until Opening Day. Barring a trade or waiver claim, they’ll both be in the bullpen. Keep in mind that the two have to be added to the 40-man roster, so the Pirates do have roster moves to make later this week.
  • If the Pirates go with a six-man bullpen, Taschner and Carrasco would fill it out. If they stick with a traditional seven-man one, Hayden Penn could step in as that last guy. Penn arrived at the McKechnie Field clubhouse this morning and is pitching in a Minor League game at Pirate City this afternoon. GM Neal Huntington will be there to watch.
  • Cutting Carlin means that the back-up catcher’s job will go to Jason Jaramillo or Erik Kratz. I still get the impression that management is leaning toward starting Jaramillo in the Minors where he can play every day, but that has not been definitively determined.
  • The club still has three position players — John Raynor, Steve Pearce and Ramon Vazquez – left to fill one (or maybe two) bench spots. Don’t expect this decision to be made until the weekend. The Pirates would still like to be able to trade Vazquez, who is owed $2 million this season, before potentially releasing him.

And in other news…

  • Part of the wave of Pirates Opening Day content hit pirates.com this morning. In case you missed today’s items there is a mainbar highlighting what to look forward to in 2010 (answer: Pedro Alvarez), a list of 10 prospects to keep an eye on, and an organizational review.
  • Ryan Church (fractured left middle finger) returns to the lineup on Tuesday. He’s hitting in the cleanup spot and playing center.
  • Ronny Cedeno (lower back tightness) is still out, though he’s a day-to-day situation.
  • Hanrahan is scheduled to throw two innings (40 pitches) in a Minor League game at Pirate City. Hanrahan will continue to throw in Minor League games so the team can backdate him onto the DL.
  • Young outfielder Robbie Grossman gets a start today in centerfield. This is what happens when you have fewer and fewer players in camp.
  • Zach Duke will make his final start of the spring on Wednesday and will be limited to 60 pitches to keep him fresh for his Opening Day start Monday. He’s scheduled to be followed by Brendan Donnelly, Evan Meek and Taschner

Pirates lineup:

  1. John Raynor (RF)
  2. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  3. Bobby Crosby (SS)
  4. Ryan Church (CF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Delwyn Young (2B)
  7. Robbie Grossman (LF)
  8. Jason Jaramillo (C)
  9. Charlie Morton (RHP)

Pitchers: Morton, Javier Lopez

Twins lineup:

  1. Denard Span (CF)
  2. Orlando Hudson (2B)
  3. Joe Mauer (C)
  4. Justin Morneau (1B)
  5. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  6. Jim Thome (DH)
  7. Jason Kubel (LF)
  8. J.J. Hardy (SS)
  9. Nick Punto (3B)

Pitchers: Francisco Liriano, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Clay Condrey

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB 

1 Comment

Release Vazquez already. They’re not going to get anything for him. Let him move on.

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