Pittsburgh Pirates News: Roster Moves Made, Bakcup Catcher TBA

Mar 20, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Greg Allen (24) at bat in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Greg Allen (24) at bat in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tuesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates took another step toward finalizing their Opening Day roster, with another addition yet to come

The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken another step toward finalizing their roster ahead of Thursday’s Opening Day contest in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Manager Derek Shelton also announced that the team will be adding a second catcher before Opening Day.

Following Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League finale, the Pittsburgh Pirates re-assigned catchers Taylor Davis, Michael Pérez and Jamie Ritchie to the minor leagues. Outfielder Bligh Madris and utility man Hunter Owen, along with veteran pitcher Jared Eickoff were all re-assigned to the minors as well.

The team also placed four players in the 10-day injured list. Pitchers Sam Howard, Max Kranick, and Luis Oviedo all landed on the IL. Neither Kranick nor Oviedo pitched in Grapefruit League action, while Howard has been out of action for over a week. Outfielder Anthony Alford was also placed on the IL. This is another move that started to become expected in recent days due to Alford battling a hand issue.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pirate beat writer Jason Mackey also reported that Greg Allen will land on the IL, it is just not known how long his stint will be.

This is a tough break for Allen. After having a career year, albeit in a very small sample size with the New York Yankees last season, Allen had a very strong camp for the Pittsburgh Pirates. All signs pointed toward Allen being the team’s starting left fielder to begin the season. Hopefully this will be a 10-day stint for Allen and not 60.

As for the backup catcher, whoever it is that will join Roberto Pérez is not currently in the organization. The Pirates are expected to add that player within the next 24 hours, however. When that addition is made a 40-man roster move will need to be made as well.

With how things currently stands it appears this how the team’s Opening Day roster is taking shape:

C – Roberto Pérez, catcher that is added in next 24 hours
1B/DH – Yoshi Tsutsugo, Daniel Vogelbach
2B – Diego Castillo
SS – Kevin Newman
3B – Ke’Bryan Hayes
LF – Ben Gamel
CF – Bryan Reynolds
RF – Cole Tucker
Utility players – Hoy Park, Josh VanMeter, Michael Chavis

Starting rotation – JT Brubaker, Mitch Keller, Zach Thompson, José Quintana, Bryse Wilson
Bullpen – David Bednar, Chris Stratton, Heath Hembree, Dillon Peters, Aaron Fletcher, Anthony Banda, Duane Underwood Jr., Wil Crowe, Miguel Yajure

This would put the Pirates at 27 players on their active roster instead of 28. Due to this another roster move could be coming to complete the Pirate bench, it would not be a surprise to see the team monitor the waiver wire for another outfielder. Honestly, with Allen set to start on the IL it is a surprise that Madris did not crack the roster.

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Additionally, a six-man starting rotation to start the season should not be ruled out. If this were to happen look for either Crowe or Peters to bump from the bullpen to the rotation for the time being.

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