Pittsburgh Pirates: Do Any Non-Roster Invitees Have A Chance To Make Team?

Mar 9, 2012; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Travis Ishikawa (45) during the game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers and catchers for the Pittsburgh Pirates are due to report to Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 12.

Unlike seasons of the past though, there won’t be a great deal of competition for jobs as most roster spots are already likely filled.

That begs the question of whether or not any of the Pirates non-roster invitees have a legitimate chance of making it to Opening Day. On the surface that answer is no.

No matter what type of spring he has, Jameson Taillon is going back to the minors, but will likely be heard from later in the season.

I also don’t envision any situation in which veterans Robert Andino or Chris Dickerson make the roster; they look like Triple-A injury replacements if needed. They could be called on in a pinch during the season, but this Pirates roster is pretty much set heading into spring training.

But could there be a surprise or two?

Before I get into that, let’s take a look at the full list of non-roster invitees that will head to Bradenton.

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Pitchers

 

 

 

 

67 Jake Brigham
61 Cody Eppley
68 Jay Jackson
27 Josh Kinney
60 Kyle McPherson
43 Daniel Schlereth
76 Jameson Taillon
74 Zack Thornton
71 Adam Wilk

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Catchers

 

 

 

 

66 Nevin Ashley
73 Carlos Paulino

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Infielders

 

 

 

 

59 Robert Andino
72 Matt Hague
3 Travis Ishikawa
70 Michael Martinez

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Outfielders

 

 

 

 

25 Chris Dickerson

When you look at the pitchers invited, other than Taillon, this is a collection of arms that will simply provide depth in the minor leagues, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In previous years, arms like Eppley, Schlereth and Thornton would be intriguing options, but that is simply not the case this season as the Pirates’ bullpen, one of the best in all of baseball last season, returns in full.

If I had to pick one guy to keep an eye on it would be Schlereth, a former first-round pick. But for a change the Pirates enter the season with a pair of quality bullpen lefties in Tony Watson and Justin Wilson, so I doubt the opportunity will be there for Schlereth to make the team.

The same goes for all of the position players, although if I had to pick one to watch it would be Ishikawa as the Bucs still need a left-handed hitting first baseman. The opportunity will be there for someone to crack the Opening Day roster as that is the only true competition in camp for a spot.

Ishikawa has had a few good spring trainings in the past, making him worthy of the title “Mr. March,” but his exhibition power outbursts haven’t translated well to regular-season success.

So when pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton next week, don’t expect a lot of drama. But that’s a good thing.

Coming off a successful 2013 season, it is nice to see a lot of holes don’t need plugging heading into the 2014 season.

Topics: Daniel Schlereth, Pittsburgh Pirates, Travis Ishikawa

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