Pirates manager Clint Hurdle now says that non-roster invitee Jose Veras is assured a job in relief, which means that most of the Pirates’ bullpen has taken shape – Joel Hanrahan will be the closer, and Evan Meek and lefty Joe Beimel will set him up. Then there’s Veras and Chris Resop. The other two spots remain open, at least theoretically, but in all probability will go to Jeff Karstens and either Scott Olsen or Charlie Morton, depending on who wins the last rotation job. (I’m betting it will be Morton in the rotation and Olsen in the ‘pen – the structure of Olsen’s contract, which gets very expensive if he stays in the rotation all years, makes clear that the Pirates would prefer not to start him for extended periods.)
The Pirates’ bullpen appeared to be in flux this offseason, but the additions of Beimel and Veras have solidified it to the point where there’s almost no competition at all. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, but it’s a little surprising that the Pirates would be announcing all this stuff so early in camp.