The Pirates begin season 16 with pretty much the same roster as they ended season 15. Budgetary constraints were the main reason for this.
Additions: Vin Cruz, Kerry Rivera, Nate Sager, Daryl Graves, and Damian Wiltse
Departures: Jake Owens, Don Benson, Wilfredo Belliard, Jaime Philips, Juan Bonilla, and Happy Hayes
Losing Phillips and Benson hurts. The Pirates have one more spot open and this will be filled once spring training has been completed.
The Pirates Season 16 opening day roster:
C: Andy Reagan backing him up will be: Vin Cruz
1B: Juan Carrasquel tailed off a bit last season, look for him to bounce back this year and make a run for MVP. Max Fuentes will back up Juan and pinch hit when needed.
2B: Bernard Shelley moves to 2B this season. Kerry Rivera will backup at 2nd, CF and pinch run when needed.
SS: Don Gong not flashy but gets the job done
3B: Luis Cruz moves back to 3rd this season. His batting avg dropped quite a bit last year, management is confident he'll bounce back this season.
LF: David Gomez solid first full season in the majors last season. Tim Roberts will come off the bench when needed.
CF: Clarence Valentin moves to CF this reason. With his range it should work out well.
RF: Alex Richardson had an MVP type season last year, hoping for more of the same this season.
SP1: Tim Loewer best 6 inning pitcher in the game
SP2: Omar Elcano had a good regular season, bad playoff. Have to stop this trend.
SP3: Jimmie Torres had a pretty good first half of the season and than got hammered in the second half. Might be better suited in the pen.
SP4: Alex Espinoza has bounced between starting and relieving pretty much his whole career.
SP5: Daryl Graves will be given a chance to start this season.
Mopup: Nate Sager will get the odd spot start to when needed
SuA: Emil Sosa was outstanding last season
SuA: Daniel Blackwell key along with Sosa and Corronado
SuB: Albert Villafuerte vet is back for one more season
SuB: Geraldo Rosa has put together 3 pretty good seasons in relief for the Pirates
SuB: Damian Wiltse gets a chance earn a spot in the pen this year.
CLA: Andres Coronado all star last season
The Pirates focus this season is winning the world series. The team is one year older, the starting pitching is a little bit weaker, the bullpen is strong with Blackwell joining Sosa and Corronado for a full season. The offence should be about the same maybe a little bit better. With that noted, anything less than a World Series win will be a dissappointment. The window of opportunity for this team winning is maybe 2 possibly 3 more seasons, the Pirates must win now.