Day 40: Pirates @ Tigers; Kratz reassigned
The Pirates reassigned catcher Erik Kratz to Minor League camp this morning, which makes Jason Jaramillo your backup catcher for the start of the season. Don’t assume that this means the dilemma of deciding if Jaramillo is better up backing up in the Majors or playing every day in the Minors. That debate will continue. And if Ryan Doumit stays healthy and Jaramillo gets scarce playing time, the Pirates might change course and send Jaramillo to the Minors at some point midseason.
For now, though, this is another roster decision to check off the list.
As for other early morning news…
- The club announced its planned Opening Day festivities and that entire release can be found here. Highlights include: Frank Coonelly will present the “Pride of the Pirates” award to a member of the organization; Andrew McCutchen will be honored for being named Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year; God Bless America will be performed by Pittsburgher and recording artist Sarah Marince; National Anthem will be perofmed by nine year old Jackie Evancho; First pitch will be thrown out by Jamie and Ali McMutrie, who were made national headlines for bringing Haitian orphans to Pittsburgh after the earthquake.
- All position players traveled to Lakeland today, which is an unusual thing to see in spring. The Pirates’ lineup is as it will be on Opening Day.
- Shortstop Ronny Cedeno (tightness in lower back) was in the lineup this morning and is no longer. I assume this means there is still some lingering tightness. He hasn’t played since Saturday.
- Asked if he was ready to name Jeff Clement the team’s Opening Day first baseman, GM Neal Huntington stopped short of giving a confirmation. His response: “He’s doing what he needs to do.”
- Reliever Joel Hanrahan will begin the season on the disabled list and will stay in Florida when the team leaves for Philadelphia tomorrow night. He will continue to pitch in extended Spring Training and then may join the organization’s Triple-A team when it begins its season on April 8. Whether Hanrahan joins Indianapolis to finish up his spring work will largely be dependent on the weather. The Indians begin the season in Columbus, Ohio.
- Wednesday will be Zach Duke’s final start before he takes the mound on Opening Day. He will be limited to about 60 pitches in order to ensure he’s fresh for Monday.
- Also sending a Happy Birthday to president Coonelly, who I heard was turning the big 50 today.
- Aki Iwamura (2B)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Jeff Clement (1B)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Zach Duke (LHP)
Ronny Cedeno(SS) Bobby Crosby
Pitchers: Duke, Brendan Donnelly, Evan Meek, Jack Taschner
- Ryan Raburn (CF)
- Johnny Damon (DH)
- Magglio Ordonez (RF)
- Miguel Cabrera (1B)
- Carlos Guillen (LF)
- Gerald Laird (C)
- Scott Sizemore (2B)
- Ramon Santiago (3B)
- Adam Everett (SS)
Pitchers: Justin Verlander, Phil Coke, Brad Thomas, Fu-Te Ni, Jose Valverde
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB