As the calendar flips to December there is a lot of roster tweaking to be done. But what would the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster look like right now?
For their normal standards the Pittsburgh Pirates have been busy this offseason. Thus far, they have traded away Kevin Newman while trading for Ji-Man Choi. They have also signed veteran first baseman Carlos Santana.
While general manager Ben Cherington has done a good job addressing first base/designated hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, there is still work to be done by him this offseason. Catcher, starting pitching, relief pitching, and the outfield remain positions of need.
That said, it’s never too early to begin attempting to project the team’s Opening Day roaster. We will do that today, taking a look at what the Pirate Opening Day lineup would look like with players currently on the 40-man roster.
There may not be a group on the Pirate roster that looks more different come Opening Day than the starting rotation. Right now, Mitch Keller, Roansy Contreras, and Johan Oviedo appear to be locks for the team’s Opening Day rotation.
Behind these three, however, questions run wild.
At some point in 2023 Quinn Priester and Mike Burrows should join the team’s starting rotation. Luis Ortiz should be in this mix as well. Until then, Cherington will have to help give Derek Shelton ammo for the team’s starting rotation. As of now these final two spots would likely go to righties JT Brubaker and Bryse Wilson.
Brubaker was the Opening Day starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season and put together an overall quality season. As for Wilson, after struggle for much of the season he was able to finish on a high note.
That said, odds are, the Pirates will add multiple starting pitchers between now and Opening Day. This could lead to Brubaker being moved to the bullpen, or potentially traded, while Wilson could be moved to the bullpen, designated for assignment, or simply start the season at Triple-a Indianapolis.