As Spring Training draws to a close, the final determinations about each team’s roster will be continue to come into focus. Here are some of the day’s more notable roster decisions…
- Prized righty Tyler Glasnow will take the final spot in the Pirates rotation, Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Twitter. He had been competing with Trevor Williams, who’ll head to the bullpen, Adam Berry of MLB.com adds on Twitter. With southpaw Wade LeBlanc also taking a job, that seems to set the stage for Rule 5 pick Tyler Webb to hit the waiver wire.
- The Giants have nailed down their bench and rotation, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Aaron Hill and Chris Marrero will round out the bench. The veteran Hill figures to share the infield reserve duties with Conor Gillaspie, while Marrero will surprisingly open the season as a part of a left field platoon with the left-handed-hitting Jarrett Parker. Meanwhile, Matt Cain will keep a rotation spot, though Ty Blach will also make the club as a reliever — where he could often spell Cain in lengthier outings.
- With injuries and young arms entering the picture, the Rockies’ pitching plans were interesting to watch this spring. As Nick Groke of the Denver Post tweets, the team will roll with lefty Kyle Freeland and righties Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez to fill out their starting staff. It seems likely that the former two will open the year in the rotation, with Marquez heading to the pen and staying on hand if a need arises.
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- By optioning Ben Gamel and placing several relievers on the DL, the Mariners signaled their Opening Day Roster, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports (Twitter links). Guillermo Heredia will serve as a reserve outfielder, while both Dillon Overton and James Pazos are slated to take up spots in the bullpen.
- Righty Oliver Drake has been named as the final member of the Orioles bullpen, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com reports on Twitter. It had been suggested yesterday that Drake was placed on waivers, but it seems that was premature. Though he had a rough spring, Drake has shown an ability to induce lots of swings and misses with his deceptive pitch mix. The 30-year-old is out of options, so Baltimore had to carry him on the active roster to maintain control rights.
- The Rangers made the surprising decision to option righty Keone Kela, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. Indications are that the move was related to off-field issues rather than performance questions or a need for roster space. Indeed, Kela was — and, perhaps, still is — expected to fulfill an important role in the Rangers’ pen. Though he dealt with elbow issues and struggled in the earned-run department last year, the 23-year-old was dominant this spring and seemed a good bet to bounce back.
- A groin injury will land Matt Garza on the 10-day disabled list to open the season, meaning that the Brewers’ rotation will now consist of right-handers Junior Guerra, Zach Davies, Wily Peralta, Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Left-hander Tommy Milone, who inked a one-year deal after being non-tendered by the Twins, had been in the mix for a rotation spot but will instead pitch out of the bullpen, Haudricourt adds. The 30-year-old Milone, who has made only 11 career relief appearances, will be the lone southpaw in Milwaukee’s bullpen (and on its entire pitching staff, for that matter).
- Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Trevor Cahill and Luis Perdomo have won spots in the Padres’ rotation, thereby pushing Jarred Cosart to the bullpen. Cahill and Perdomo will be joined by Jhoulys Chacin, Jered Weaver and Clayton Richard in a reconstructed San Diego rotation that was pieced together in cost-effective fashion but still carries myriad question marks. Manager Andy Green didn’t rule out a return to the rotation or an eventual late-inning role for Cosart, but for the time being it sounds as if he’s slotted for long relief. Given the uncertainty that permeates the San Diego starting corps, that role could lead to plenty of innings for the 26-year-old Cosart early in the year.
- The Yankees announced last night that right-hander Chad Green has been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 25-year-old Green had been in consideration for a rotation spot and turned in a strong 1.50 ERA in 12 spring innings, though that was accompanied by a less-encouraging 8-to-6 K/BB ratio. The Yankees aren’t planning to name a fifth starter before Opening Day and will utilize early off days to avoid needing a fifth starter for the early portion of April. Still, it’d be a surprise if Green didn’t at least enter the team’s rotation conversation at some point this season. For now, the team’s rotation will be comprised of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Luis Severino.
- Jandel Gustave has won the Astros’ final bullpen spot, beating out fellow righty James Hoyt, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The 24-year-old bounced to three different teams after being taken in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft before ultimately returning to the ’Stros. Gustave averaged 97.1 mph on his fastball in his brief MLB debut last season and turned in a 16-to-4 K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings of work.
- Right-hander Austin Pruitt has beat out Chase Whitley and Jaime Schultz to make the Rays’ roster, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Injuries to Shawn Tolleson and Brad Boxberger likely helped to pave the way for Pruitt, 27, to break camp with the team. The 2013 ninth-round pick turned in a solid 3.76 ERA with 8.2 K/9 against 1.5 BB/9 in his first taste of Triple-A work last year. Manager Kevin Cash tells Topkin that delivering the news that Pruitt would make the Opening Day roster was “probably the best conversation all spring.” The manager also noted that a decision on the final bench slot may not come until Saturday (or even Sunday morning, Topkin adds via Twitter).