March 14, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Brandon Inge (78) works out prior to the game Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Inge makes Pirates Opening Day roster

In another expected move, the Pittsburgh Pirates have confirmed that veteran utility guy Brandon Inge has made the Opening Day roster, according to the Post- Gazette’s Michael Sanserino.

 

The Pirates had to decide on Inge by 11 a.m. on Tuesday and confirmed that he would be added to the roster, although it is likely that Inge will start the season on the disabled list after being hit in the shoulder with a pitch a few days ago.

March 14, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Brandon Inge (78) throws the ball to first for an out during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Inge offers up some value as a versatile player who can play a lot of positions, but he didn’t do much to earn the roster spot, hitting only .156 without an RBI or extra base hit in 32 spring at bats.

Hopefully by keeping Inge it means a lot less of Josh Harrison this season, but Harrison will likely make the team out of spring training.

It’s not that I am against keeping a guy like Inge, but my problem is that it likely means that the Bucs will once again have one of the worst benches in baseball, which is starting to become a problem.

It also continues the trend of Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle relying on unproductive veterans instead of giving youth a chance.

The decisions to keep Inge and trade for 38-year old John McDonald prevented guys like Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Jordy Mercer from potentially making the roster. Add to that the decision to keep a struggling Jonathan Sanchez in the rotation and quite frankly, there isn’t much reason to get excited about the Opening Day roster.

It’s almost a shame that the Pirates don’t have better options than Inge and Sanchez at this point. Considering where we are in Huntington’s tenure, one would have hoped that the Bucs would be way past this at this point.

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