Mar 10, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Vin Mazzaro (32) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates Finalize Opening Day Roster By Designating Vin Mazzaro For Assignment

With Andrew Lambo sent to Triple-A last week, there was one major decision left for the Pittsburgh Pirates to make before finalizing their Opening Day roster.

General manager Neal Huntington spent the past few days mulling over four right-handed relievers – Bryan Morris, Stolmy Pimentel, Jeanmar Gomez and Vin Mazzaro – for which he had but three available roster spots.

Manager Clint Hurdle revealed Friday that the resurgent Morris was a lock to make the ballclub, reducing that group to three. Huntington made the final call Saturday, designating Mazzaro for assignment as reported by multiple media sources.

The 27-year-old Mazzaro pitched for Oakland and Kansas City before the Pirates brought him aboard in Dec. 2012 via a minor-league trade. He was quite effective in 2013 with the Bucs, posting a 2.83 ERA in 78 2/3 innings as a middle reliever.

However, while Mazzaro has started 45 MLB games, the Pirates don’t appear to like him in the spot-starter role that Gomez staked claim to last summer. Also, Mazzaro can’t match the explosive repertoire of Pimentel, who got a cup of coffee with Pittsburgh late in the 2013 campaign.

Since Mazzaro doesn’t have any minor-league options remaining, the Pirates have 10 days to arrange a trade or grant him his outright release.

Also of note, Pittsburgh officially placed pitcher Jeff Locke (back) and catcher Chris Stewart (knee) on the disabled list. The Pirates’ scheduled Saturday exhibition game in Philadelphia was rained out, so the next time they take the field will be Monday’s season-opener at PNC Park.

Tags: Bryan Morris Neal Huntington Pittsburgh Pirates Vin Mazzaro

  • JBubs

    Thanks for the update, Matt. I am both anxious and excited for the Pirates this year, and with a good dose of quiet confidence. If the Buccos can stay relatively injury-free, I really like their chances. Let the games begin!

    • Matt Gajtka

      You’ll see in our staff prediction piece, but I’m bullish on the Bucs this year. It’s largely the same group that won 94 games last year, so I’m not sure I understand some of the pessimism I see out there.

      • JBubs

        Like “The Fox and the Grapes” I think those naysayers seek to protect themselves from disappointment. But as for your prediction piece, is it going to account for both the “before’ and the “after” of one Gregory Polanco? For I believe that when he arrives the Pirates will have the best and youngest outfield in baseball. And I am certain that this triumvirate will quickly generate comparison to the halcyon days of Bonds, Van Slyke, and Bonilla.

  • billv923

    the pirates were talking to arizona last week about one of their shortstops Didi Gregorius, then they end up with Keon Broxton an outfielder,the pirates have a surplus of outfieders, Gregorius would have been nice if any thing happen to mercer., his stats are about the same as mercer 111 games played 7 homeruns 30 rbis 252 avg and he s 23 years old,Arizona sent him down to the minors today maybe the pirates can still get him for mazzaro.