The Pirates have added top prospect Starling Marte to their 40-man roster, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft. They also added first baseman Matt Hague, shortstop Jordy Mercer, starting pitcher Rudy Owens, and relievers Justin Wilson and Duke Welker.â†µ
Welker is the only one of the six with whom most Pirates fans aren't familiar, but he throws very hard and gets ground balls, which gives him solid upside for a reliever.
The Pirates removed outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Eric Fryer from the roster. Paul is of no particular concern, but it would be a shame to lose Fryer if a team claimed him. The Bucs will hope that no one does, and that Fryer will end up back in their minor-league system.â†µ
The most interesting players the Pirates left unprotected were pitchers Brett Lorin and Diego Moreno. Moreno throws very hard and has posted great strikeout rates at times, so I could see him being taken in the Rule 5 draft. The Pirates haven't given him many chances to stick at Class AA, however, so it's possible they know something about him that we don't.â†µ
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