What Will Pittsburgh Pirates’ Postseason Roster Look Like?
Pittsburgh Pirates' Postseason Roster Isn't Difficult To Predict
After defeating the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates have set their sights on the St. Louis Cardinals. For the first time in 20 years, the Pirates have to construct a roster for the postseason. Each round allows for a different roster, but the Pirates will probably keep their roster the same unless an injury forces a change.
The Cardinals and Pirates have played an extremely tight series during the regular season. In fact, it couldn’t get much tighter Out of the 19 games played between the two teams, the Bucs won 10 of them and the Cards won nine. The Pirates scored 4.5 runs in the series and the Cardinals scored 4.6. A huge factor in this series could be that the Cardinals playing without Allen Craig; however, the Cards swept the Pirates in September in Busch Stadium without him. This series is probably going to come down to which team pitches better.
Before we actually start constructing the Pirates’ roster, we first have to take a look at some of the rules regarding playoff rosters. For a player to be eligible to be on a postseason roster, he must be on the 25-man roster or on the disabled list on Aug. 31. The Pirates are running out of time to get their roster submitted, but it seems obvious what most of the team will look like. However, there are question marks. Will they have Josh Harrison? Will they keep Kyle Farnsworth on the playoff roster? Keep reading to find out.
The starting lineup for the Pirates will be basically the same as it was all season. I'm going to project the lineup as if a right-handed pitcher was starting, because that is the most likely scenario.
We can start with the battery; A.J. Burnett will be the Game 1 starter against the Cardinals with Russell Martin catching. For the infield from left to right, the Pirates will have Pedro Alvarez, Clint Barmes, Neil Walker and Justin Morneau. Barmes is in the lineup purely for his defense. The Pirates' outfield will be Starling Marte in left, Andrew McCutchen in center and Marlon Byrd in right field.
Again, no surprises here. The only possible question mark is if the Pirates will go with the offense of Jordy Mercer or Barmes' defense at shortstop.
The Pirates have already announced their NLDS rotation. It goes as follows:
A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton if necessary.
The strongest part of the Pirates' team this season, the "Shark Tank" won't have any surprises either. The closer is going to be Jason Grilli, the setup man will probably be Mark Melancon. The two lefties will be Tony Watson and Justin Wilson. The long-reliever will be Jeanmar Gomez. The middle relievers are a bit of a question mark. Vin Mazzaro will probably make it, but it comes down to either Kyle Farnsworth or Bryan Morris. I would pick Farnsworth, but I think the Bucs will go with Morris.
The Pirates' bench isn't a great bench, but it's been good enough all season. Their aren't a ton of question marks surrounding it either. It will likely consist of Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, Gaby Sanchez, Tony Sanchez and Jose Tabata