Outfielders – Bryan Reynolds, Anthony Alford, Gregory Polanco, Dustin Fowler
The outfield is another spot where the camp battle is still ongoing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bryan Reynolds will be the starter in left field with Gregory Polanco, at least against right-handed pitching, in right field. What happens after these two is where things get murky.
The Pirates will still need a starting center fielder and a fourth outfielder. Anthony Alford, Dustin Fowler and Brian Goodwin appear to be the three players competing for these two spots. While Goodwin has hit the ball hard this spring and entered the spring appearing to be a lock for the Opening Day roster, it now appears he will be the odd man out.
Alford is a right-handed hitter, which the Pirates need in their outfield, and appeared to be on his way to getting an opportunity last September prior to getting inured. Additionally, he has been excellent this spring. Entering play on Saturday, Alford had hit for a .276/.323/.517 slash line, to go with two home runs and a double. Alford will be on this Opening Day roster.
While Goodwin has the pedigree and experience at the Major League level, it appears that he will be the odd man out. In addition to having played some first base this spring to add to his positional flexibility, the Pirates also traded for Fowler when he was designated for assignment. The fact the Pirates traded for him to ensure acquiring him despite being at the top of the waiver wire is a sign the Pirates see a role for Fowler.