Today I uploaded the Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker to the site. This is the third year in a row that we’ve had the tracker on the site. Prior to Spring Training it will show all of the non-roster invitees who are invited to camp, along with the chances of each player making the Opening Day roster. Once Spring Training begins, the tracker will be updated any time a player is cut from camp, or whenever a player’s status changes.
Currently I project eight position battles in Spring Training. Those are the right field position, three bench spots, three bullpen spots, and two rotation spots.
The right field battle will be between Travis Snider, Jerry Sands, Jose Tabata, and Alex Presley. I think Snider has the inside track.
For the bench, I think two of the remaining outfielders will get bench spots. That’s especially true if Tabata or Snider don’t win the starting job, since they’re each out of options.
The starting rotation is up in the air right now. If the Pirates end up signing Francisco Liriano, there would only be one rotation spot remaining, and I’m guessing that spot would go to either Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson. Jeff Karstens was just made official. If the Pirates don’t sign Liriano, I think Karstens will get one of the spots. I think the fifth spot will go to Locke or McPherson, no matter who is added from here.
I’ve got Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon as locks for the bullpen, and Jason Grilli as the closer. That leaves three spots open. Jeff Karstens will take one of those spots if he doesn’t win a rotation spot. There are some players who I feel have a stronger chance of making the team than others. Bryan Morris, for example, is out of options and seems like a lock to make it. I didn’t want to draw that line at Morris, because it’s more than him being out of options. I think he’s one of the best options out of the remaining players. Chris Leroux is out of options, and I’m high on him, although not as high as Morris. On down the line there’s Vin Mazzaro, then Jeanmar Gomez. Both are out of options. For now I just left all of those guys out. My guess is that Morris makes the team, but I’m not calling him a lock yet.
Click here to go to the tracker and bookmark it as it will be updated frequently.