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40-man Roster and Spring Outlook: Batters

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Posted 12-30-2013 at 11:50 PM by JoeyMac

We have agreed to terms with 25 year old C Austin Romine on a 2 year $1.92 mil. deal. The 2 year deal offers us some stability at the position as Russell Martin will be a free agent after next season. Romine is very good defensively and can handle the bat ok. We feel he's a solid addition to the club.

So now the roster is set and now is a perfect time to outline the 40-man roster heading into camp. Our plans are to have 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 4 outfielders and 7 infielders. Well carry 2 utility infielders and we will have 2 first basemen because we will be platooning Sanchez and Davis to start the year. The biggest question mark will be the pitching as no one really has a specific role right now.

Russell Martin: .272/.340/.439 21 HR 68 RBI 76 RS
Austin Romine: .219/.306/.351 12 HR 65 RBI 57 RS (at AA Trenton)
Charles Cutler: .281/.348/.409 10 HR 74 RBI 65 RS (at AAA Indianapolis)

There's no question that Russell Martin will be the starter here. We signed Austin Romine to be the back up but we wont rule out Charles Cutler who will be in camp to compete. Both players are above average with the glove but don't show anything spectacular with the bat. Cutler is 27 and has competed at higher levels which might give him the edge but well let this one work itself out in the spring.

First Base:
Gaby Sanchez: .284/.349/.418 9 HR 36 RBI 42 RS
Chris Davis: .269/.307/.489 30 HR 84 RBI 67 RS (for Baltimore)

These 2 will be platooning so there's not much to report here but I will say if Davis can step it up and prove he can handle the tough lefties it would make Sanchez expendable creating a roster spot for a fifth outfielder. I would prefer to open that roster spot mostly because I don't like carrying two men who can only play 1B.

Second Base:
Neil Walker: .286/.359/.454 16 HR 70 RBI 81 RS
Josh Harrison: .325/.368/.442 7 HR 63 RBI 88 RS 15 SB (at AAA Indianapolis)

Walker has the job won outright and Harrison should make the team easily as he can play 3B as well. My one concern is that Walker is below average defensively and Harrison isn't a whole lot better but we are going with what we have and hope that the addition of Terry Pendleton can be a good influence on the infield defense.

Third Base:
Pedro Alvarez: .208/.278/.413 28 HR 91 RBI 63 RS
Carlos Rivero: .322/.383/.481 6 HR 35 RBI 33 RS (at AAA Syracuse)

Pedro will be given the starting job. We need his power and we have hope that he can start making more consistent contact. Rivero is a good gloveman and can play SS pretty well so that gives him a big edge on making the team.

Jed Lowrie: .242/.319/.381 11 HR 47 RBI 47 RS (for Oakland and Chicago AL)
Ivan Dejesus Jr.: .270/.339/.358 1 HR 40 RBI 60 RS (at AA Altoona)

Lowrie will have the starting job. Dejesus is the least likely infielder to make the team, we like his defense but it would have to take an amazing spring or an injury for him to earn a spot.

Left Field:
Jose Tabata: .279/.333/.385 5 HR 32 RBI 51 RS 15 SB
Alex Presley: .310/.347/.487 3 HR 19 RBI 24 RS
Travis Snider: .254/.322/.444 11 HR 33 RBI 25 RS

It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out in the spring. Tabata is the only guy on our roster who I believe is a true lead off man and he is great defensively so he is the front runner to win the job going into the spring. Our skipper Clint Hurdle is very high on platooning so I think that is the reason why Tabata hasn't reached 500 AB's in a season and I'd like to see what he can do. Presley and Snider are both lefties and solid defensive outfielders so there just isn't room for both men on the roster. Their performance in the spring will decide who goes to Indianapolis. I will say that Snider has a slight edge in power and a much better batting eye so that gives him the edge right now.

Center Field:
Andrew McCutchen: .309/.401/.508 23 HR 73 RBI 92 RS 21 SB

Starting RF Starling Marte who some say is even better than McCutchen defensively will play center when McCutchen needs a day off, which hopefully doesn't happen to often.

Right Field:
Starling Marte: .224/.274/.359 9 HR 37 RBI 69 RS
Jerry Sands: .299/.390/.528 21 HR 97 RBI 80 RS

Marte will be given time to mature but if he has a poor spring we can't go to long into the season before we start to shake things up. It seems unlikely that Sands will make the team out of spring training but if Marte needs to go to Indianapolis to work things out Sands will be one of the first men to get a call up.
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