Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Figuring out the Opening Day Roster

So, spring training is right around the corner and not too many jobs are available.  Today I'm gonna look at the position players and with your help, we will decide wo makes the 2010 squad.

First off, I'm going to assume JR will carry 12 pitchers. Next, I'm going to assume Jeff Clement wins the first base job, something the Bucs are hoping as well.  In your scenerios though, assume whatever you want.

Here are the guys that should have the team made

Catchers- Doumit and Jaramillo
First Base- Clement
Second base- Iwamura
Third base- Laroche
Shortstop- Cedeno
Outfielders- Jones, McCutchen, Milledge, Church
Backup Infielders- Vazquez and Crosby

Assuming they keep 12 pitchers, they have a difficult decision ahead of them.  The final outfield spot.  It will come down to Brandon Moss, Delwyn Young and Rule 5 guy John Raynor.  Longshot candidates include Brandon Jones, Neil Walker and Steve Pearce.

So who gets the final job?  They could go with 11 pitchers but for a young team that will likely use the pen a good bit, that would likely be a bad idea, so we are still assuming only one roster spot is open, barring injury.

I say NH will work out a deal with the Malins to keep Raynor in the system, otherwise they either give him back, or Moss and Young are in trouble.  They love Raynors speed and ability to get on base, so I can't see them offering him back to the Marlins. NH did similar with the Rays in order to keep Evan Meek in the system.

I also would hate to see them give up on Moss so soon, but when there is talent behind you, the pressure is on to perform and Brandon Moss simply hasn't.  I would expect them to wait until closer to opening day, to make sure they are healthy and then deal Moss.

If all that happens, then my last roster spot goes to Delwyn Young.  I was happy with what Young showed last season. I also feel he was more effective as a pinch hitter and a spot starter than playing second base everyday.  Young is a valuable guy to have and he is can play a couple different positions and is a switch hitter, although he is much better from the left side.

Young earns the job in my mind and adds depth to the ballclub.  That's just my opinion though, let me know who makes your opening day roster.


  1. I can't stand Moss and I think Young is decent enough so I vote DY

  2. Now that they have crosby, why cant they cut vasquez and keep young and the rule 5 guy

  3. He hasnt shown it yet, but moss could be one of the more talented players on the team. have to keep him. way too soon to cut him loose

  4. i think they should keep neil walker and screw the rest. give the kid a shot, plus he will help sell tickets

  5. you cant be freakin serious. keep walker? what the hell has he done at any level to warrant being kept on the opening day roster,

    keep walker. no i say its time to fionally dump walker. who cares if he is a hometown kid. numbers talk

  6. i think they should keep neil walker and screw the rest. give the kid a shot, plus he will help sell tickets

    Wow he works in the ticketing department also. That would be the only way he would help sell tickets because no one in their right mind will buy a ticket just to see neil walker

  7. i say keep raynor cause they have to and let moss and young go. he is fast and has a rep for getting on base, qualities that should help a bad team

  8. very tough call. i would hate to see moss or young go, but at bats might not be there and sitting on the bench wont help either. looks like raynor would get the nod, but don't forget about steve pearce. they have a man crush on him and will have a hard time giving up on him

  9. matt

    any scenerio where you think they keep both moss and young? I mean why is the worthless ramon vazquez on the team since they signed a worthless bobby crosby. how many guys like that do we need?

  10. Well, yeah they could keep both. this is all hypothetical. The reason i feel moss is in trouble is that they now have a left handed hitting outfielder off the bench in church.

    If he comes out and has a good spring, moss will force the Pirates hand. i still like Young as a better player though.

    As far as vazquez, he isn't a star, but he is a pro. he does his job. He will get some pinch hits and can give anyone in the infield a day off. I have a hard time seeing them cutting him.

    He could also be the odd man out though. Crosby could backup at short and third and Young could fill in as a backup second baseman/outfielder

  11. Giving up on Moss and Young would be a mistake. even though neither will likely ever be an all-star calliber talent, both could be valuable bench pieces.

    Teams need a good bench as well.

  12. Matt

    I know this is far fetched, but I think it would make sense if the Bucs took a run at Johnny Damon for a one year deal.

    He still has value, coming off one of his best seasons. He is a winner and he could teach the young guys how its done on and off the field. he has much to offer and could be a steal.

    If not that, could you see the Bucs signing anyone else? Myabe if not damon, a Jermaine Dye or a Chin meng Wang?

  13. Dave,

    No way. Couldn't, wouln't & shouldn't happen. While I have become a Damon fan the last few seasons and I would agree that he has much to offer still, he just doesn't fit the plan the Pirates are trying to follow.

    While I would also agree that they could use a veteren leader, not a Jack Wilson, but someone that has actually won and accomplished alot at the big league level. I also feel it is far more important to get the younger guys more at bats and more playing time.

    As far as signing anyone else, wouldn't rule it out, but don't expect anything. especially anything big. They won't be in on Dye, who had an awful second half of 2009. A guy like Russell Branyan is coming off neck surgery and hasn't shown more than one good year.

    Wang would be a good pickup for some team, but likely not the Bucs. There really isn't a spot for him in the rotation and Brad Lincoln will likely be up sometime this season. Wang pitched hurt last season and should be a steal for somebody. You don't win 19 games in back to back seasons by accident

  14. Why did we claim Brandon Jones. He has talent and given the opportunity, maybe he could show it, but he won't get the opportunity here. They will DFA him after spring training and someone else will claim him

  15. Moss has talent but hasnt shown it. deal him. there wont be room for him anyways when tabata gets promoted. keep delwyn young