The Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster must be set today
Tomorrow, the Pittsburgh Pirates start their 2017 campaign. This means that the team must have their 25-man roster set by noon today. While a big portion of the 25-man roster is known, there are still some question marks.
The starting eight, the starting rotation, and the bullpen are known. This makes up 20 of the 25 spots on the active roster. Additionally, Adam Frazier, Chris Stewart (if healthy), and John Jaso will be on the bench. This brings it to 23/25.
As the first pitch of the 2017 season approaches, three players remain in limbo for the Pittsburgh Pirates. These three players are utility men Alen Hanson and Philip Gosselin, as well as first baseman/outfielder Jose Osuna.
All three of these players were among the Pirates’ best hitters in Spring Training. So all three have done all they can to make the Opening Day roster. However, barring something unforeseen, only two of the three will be with the team in Boston tomorrow.
Alen Hanson is out of minor league options. For this reason, the former top prospect seems to be a lock to make the team. The fact he has shown the ability to play five different positions this spring helps his cause, too.
Furthermore, there was this Tweet from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Stephen J. Nesbitt yesterday that seems to indicate Hanson has been told he has made the club.
This makes the real debate between Phil Gosselin and Jose Osuna. Gosselin brings more positional flexibility to the equation, however, Osuna is the better hitter.
Ultimately, Gosselin will likely get this final bench spot. The Pirates need a backup shortstop. Phil Gosselin is the best defensive shortstop of the three players (Frazier, Gosselin, and Hanson) that project to be on the Pirate bench that can play shortstop.
By noon today, the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster will be set. At that point, it will be full steam ahead to Boston. Soon, we will know which 25 players the Pittsburgh Pirates are taking north to start the regular season.