Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting the Team’s Bench
By Marty Leap
Utility man Phillip Evans
This final bench spot could go a few different ways. Especially since whoever gets the final bench spot is likely to be optioned off the active roster when the roster drops from 30 players to 28, or 28 to 26. Remember, with the universal DH this season the need for pinch hit options on National League rosters goes way down.
When Derek Shelton makes the decision on this final roster spot, Phillip Evans appears to be in a good spot to make the roster. As we discussed on the site last week, Evans could, quietly, find a role for himself on the Pirate roster this season.
Shelton has raved about Phillips during camp the last two weeks, and he was raking in the Grapefruit League. Shelton has mentioned Evans as a possibility to get at bats at DH, first base, third base, or second base. To be honest, it would not be a surprise to see him open the season as Colin Moran’s platoon partner at third base.
Evans may have to hit, hit and then hit some more to have a long stay on the Pirates’ active roster. That said, there is a good shot he will receive the opportunity to do that by being a member of the team’s Opening Day bench.