The Pirates today demoted infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who was widely reported to be a near-lock for a roster spot. They also announced that it is very likely that starting catcher Chris Snyder will begin the season on the disabled list as he deals with back trouble.â†µ
These moves make it very likely that the Pirates have decided which 13 position players they'll be taking north once the season begins. Ryan Doumit will presumably move from the bench and back into the primary catcher role, at least until Snyder returns. Jason Jaramillo will be his backup.â†µ
The starting first baseman will be Lyle Overbay, with Steve Pearce and John Bowker available on the bench. Pearce will also probably get a few innings at third base, while Bowker will get some in the outfield.â†µ
The rest of the starting infield will be Neil Walker at second, Ronny Cedeno at shortstop and Pedro Alvarez at third. The utility infielder will be Josh Rodriguez, who probably will win the job primarily because he's a Rule 5 draft pick and the Pirates will have to offer him back to the Indians if he doesn't make the team. Truth be told, though, he's a much better hitter than Ciriaco and is a good choice overall.â†µ
In the outfield will be Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, with Matt Diaz taking Jones' at-bats when the Pirates face a lefty starter.â†µ
There are a couple bullpen jobs that have yet to be announced, but it looks like the Pirates' roster is becoming increasingly clear.