Pittsburgh Pirates 2023 Opening Day Roster Prediction Version 3.0
Outfielder - Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen, Ji-Hwan Bae, Jack Suwinski, Connor Joe
Could Bryan Reynolds still be traded? It's certainly possible. But as of now he is still a Pittsburgh Pirate. Until that changes, Reynolds is the team's starting center fielder and he is one of the best at the position in the National League.
After Reynolds, the outfield gets murky. Not necessarily in terms of who will make the roster, but more in terms of who will play where.
Jack Suwinski will likely start any time the Pirates face a right-handed pitcher. Look for McCutchen and/or Connor Joe to platoon with him. Both McCutchen and Joe could see starts at designated hitter against lefties as well, and Joe could see some starts at first base against lefties.
The real wild card here could be Ji-Hwan Bae. At this point Bae has nothing left to prove in the minors. While he was an infielder for most of his professional career, as the 2022 season went on, both in the minors and the majors, the Pirates made a concentrated effort to get Bae reps in the outfield.
It would not be a surprise to see Bae earn a starting job in the outfield when the 2023 season begins. Even if he is not a starter, between the outfield and the infield, Bae should earn plenty of playing time as the Pirates give him every opportunity to prove what he can do in the majors.