Pittsburgh Pirates News: Anthony Alford Likely to Begin Season on the IL


It appears that Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Anthony Alford is on his way to beginning the 2022 season on the injured list

With Opening Day just four days away the Pittsburgh Pirates are still in need of making some roster moves. After optioning right-handed pitcher Adonis Medina to Triple-A and re-assigning fellow right-handed pitcher Austin Brice to minor league camp, the Pirates have 38 players remaining in MLB camp.

This means the Pittsburgh Pirates have until Thursday to trim that number down to 28 players. Neither Max Kranick nor Luis Oviedo have pitched this spring, rather it is start on the injured list or being optioned to the minors that will be two of the needed 10 moves. Now it appears that injury will cause another roster decision to be an easy one for the Pirates.

It appears that outfielder Anthony Alford will start the season on the injured list. This is due to a hand issue that has led to inflammation, causing pain for Alford when he attempts to grip/swing a bat.

Alford is a player battling for one of the final roster spots. Despite finishing the 2021 season strong Alford is 1-for-13 with a walk and 9 strikeouts this spring. In 236 career MLB plate appearances Alford has hit for just a .208/.275/.370 slash line to go with a 72 wRC+ and a 37.7% strikeout rate.

An Alford injury could change the make up of the Pirate bench. Michael Pérez appears to be a lock as the team’s second catcher, while recently acquired utility man Josh VanMeter will be on the bench as well. This leaves two bench spots and it’s hard to envision Diego Castillo not claiming one of them.

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The battle for that final spot would appear to be between Alford, Hoy Park, Bligh Madris, and Michael Chavis. Assuming Alford starts the season on the IL that leaves the other three players battling for the final spot. At that point it would likely come down to what Derek Shelton and his staff prefer more. If it is a true fourth outfielder then the spot goes to Madris, if they prefer another utility player then Park or Chavis would get the nod.