has destroyed baseballs this Spring Training for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the best Spring Training hitter on Major League Baseball’s worst team might not make the 25-man club. The next few days will be very interesting for Jaramillo.
In the past, the Pirates have told the 6’0″ catching stud from Oklahoma State that they wouldn’t want him riding the pine in Pittsburgh. Go to Indy, get regular time and be ready when we make the call. Unfortunately for Jaramillo, the call was made to acquire Chris Snyder from the Diamondbacks last season and Jarmillo was left to toil in AAA.
Right now the Pirates five million dollar man and starting catcher Snyder has an aching back. He has been absent in the Pirates Spring Training starting lineups for an extended period, but insists he will be ready for the opener in Chicago against the Cubs. The other overpaid catcher, Ryan Doumit has drawn very little interest on the trade market, has also been injured and has played in just nine games.
Those scenarios have left the Bucs with few options but pondering the decision to carry an unthinkable three catchers on their opening day roster. The move would allow Doumit to not only be a back up for Snyder, but also play other positions and be an active pinch hitter for manager Clint Hurdle.
All this despite having two emergency catchers who could more than be capable in short time periods in Neil Walker and Matt Diaz.
Jarmillo has done nothing to stop the unthinkable by crushing everything thrown near him in the batters box. He has ten hits, four doubles, a homer, three walks and his OPS is off the charts at 1.415 to go with a .500/.565/.850 line.
The switch hitter has been in this situation before. In 2009, he beat out Robinzon Diaz, and last year got the roster spot over Erik Kratz. Both times J Hammer got the word in the final week of Pirates camp. Dusty Brown is pushing for the spot with some fine defensive work and surprising hitting this Spring.
So this season when the 25-man is announced, Jarmillo might not be so fortunate.
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