Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day Roster Prediction: New Year Edition

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
3 of 6

3B - Ke'Bryan Hayes
SS - Oneil Cruz2B - Rodolfo Castro
1B - Carlos Santana
DH - Ji-Man Choi
DH/1B/LF - Miguel AndújarI
NF/OF - Tucupita Marcano

Due to how playing time and the backup shortstop situation would likely shake out with the current makeup of the 40-man roster, it was easier to throw all of this in one slide.

The starting infield is a rather concrete situation. Obviously, Ke'Bryan Hayes will be at third base with Oneil Cruz at shortstop. Free agent addition Carlos Santana will likely be at first base with Ji-Man Choi at DH, although the two could potentially flip positions. Following a strong final two months during the 2022 season, Rodolfo Castroappears to be the frontrunner to start at second base.

My guess would be that Miguel Andújarwill platoon at DH with Choi. Andújar did some nice things in his very brief time with the Pirates late last season, and the front office will likely want to see if a change of scenery can help him find the ways of his rookie season in 2018. Additionally, Choi is a very poor hitter against left-handed pitching.

It appears likely that the Pirates will add a backup shortstop between now and Opening Day. However, with the way the roster is currently constructed that role would go to Tucupita Marcano. Marcano's ability to play the outfield, third base and second base could also help in his efforts to crack the Opening Day roster.