The Pittsburgh Pirates set their 60-man roster for the shortened season on Sunday afternoon, despite a surprise suspension, and notable names were missing from the major league roster and taxi squad.
The 39 players to appear at training camp starting Wednesday at PNC Park included first-place prospects at third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and shortstop Cole Tucker and a spring training star at closer Blake Cederlind. The 20-man taxi squad will train in the towns’ natural gas field in Altoona.
“Well, some of them were easy, but yes, we had quite a conversation, really for several weeks, until the last few days,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “We are trying to find the best combination to support our major league team and provide some development opportunity for a handful of younger players who we think would be ready and could take advantage of the environment in Altoona.”
Just before the Pirates unveiled their roster, they received news from the MLB that relief pitcher Edgar Santana received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for the Boldenone drug to improve performance, ruling it out throughout the season. .
That left them with 59 players. Cherington said the Pirates could sign another player.
“It was part of spring training 1.0 and would have been part of spring training 2.0,” Cherington said of Santana. “But we are going to focus on the boys who are here, who are returning to Pittsburgh. I think if we look at the list as a whole, the total group of players between Pittsburgh and Altoona, I think we feel in a relative sense that the relief pitching bullpen is a relative area of depth and team strength. And we still feel that way today. ”
The Pirates also dropped their last two first-round draft picks from the list, right-hander Quinn Priester (2019) and shortstop Nick Gonzales (2020), as well as the two 19-year-old prospects acquired at the Starling Mars exchange in January: shortstop Liover Peguero and right-hander Brennan Malone.
“There were a number of players, aside from Quinn and Nick, whom we consider,” Cherington said, “and we just feel like we’re still hoping that there will be an opportunity to get his uniform at a facility in 2020, and if we can do that, That would be a more productive way for them to continue their development. ”
In total, the Pirates will start training camp with 21 pitchers, three catchers, 10 infielders and five outfielders. Santana is on the suspended list, and starting pitchers Chris Archer and Jameson Taillon and infielder Kevin Kramer will miss the season as they recover from surgery.
Pitchers are left-handers Steven Brault, Miguel Del Pozo, Robbie Erlin, Derek Holland and Nik Turley and right-handers JT Brubaker, Nick Burdi, Blake Cederlind, Kyle Crick, Michael Feliz, Geoff Hartlieb, Clay Holmes, Keone Kela, Mitch Keller, Chad Kuhl, Joe Musgrove, Dovydas Neverauskas, Héctor Noesi, Richard Rodríguez, Chris Stratton and Trevor Williams.
Jacob Stallings, Luke Maile and John Ryan Murphy are the receivers, with the team consisting of first baseman All-Star Josh Bell, second baseman Adam Frazier, shortstop Kevin Newman, Tucker, Erik Gonzalez and JT Riddle and third baseman Colin. Moran, Hayes, Philip Evans and Jose Osuna. In the outfield, Gregorio Polanco, Bryan Reynolds and Jarrod Dyson join Guillermo Heredia and Sócrates Brito.
The taxi squad has infielders Ji-Hwan Bae, Rodolfo Castro, Will Craig, Oneil Cruz and Mason Martin, catchers Christian Kelley and Andrew Susac, outfielders Jason Martin, Jared Oliva and Travis Swaggerty, right-handed pitchers Cody Bolton, Max Kranick, James Marvel, Nick Mears, Cody Ponce, Yacksel Rios and Aaron Shortridge and lefties Sam Howard and Braeden Ogle. Ríos was expelled from the list of 40 men.
Kevin Gorman is a writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or by Twitter.
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