The Pirates have selected the contracts of lefty Robbie Erlin and catcher John Ryan Murphy, per the team’s transactions page. Both had been assigned to the alternate training site but will now join the 40-man roster.
These moves were obviously made with an eye to structuring the Bucs’ Opening Day roster. With thirty roster spots to fill, the rebuilding club has quite a lot of openings to tinker with. These two players — both of whom are 29 years of age, were selected in the early rounds of the 2009 draft, and debuted in 2013 — are among the beneficiaries.
There was an especially clear need behind the dish in Pittsburgh. Murphy has never fully established himself as a MLB-caliber hitter, with a cumulative .219/.265/.357 slash line over 674 total plate appearances. But he’s trusted to handle backstop duties, having appeared with four different organizations over the past seven seasons.
Like most teams, the Pirates are likely to dedicate much of their added roster availability to pitching. Erlin will join a number of other arms hoping for their names to be called in on the bullpen phone. He could end up functioning as a situational lefty and/or long reliever. The 29-year-old carries a 4.57 ERA in 313 total MLB innings, all with the Padres.
I know JMR hasn’t been great at the MLB level, but I feel he could break out of sorts with a more stable situation in Pittsburgh. He has obvious pop and is a good defender behind the dish. Cervelli was 29 when he finally broke out. I’m excited to see.
He was solid in NY. I agree that he has potential to thrive in a situation like Pittsburgh. Little known facts he was the catcher who caught Marianos last pitch and CC’s 3000 strikeout.
Murphy was the batter when CC got his 3000th strikeout. Sanchez was the catcher.
thats it fort pitt
Bring back Redbeard for equal split with Stallings, and use JMR as emergency 3rd/travel squad.
Redbeard? The only Redbeard on the Bucs is Moran.
thats it fort pitt
Russell Martin’s beard had a reddish hue, so the PIT broadcasters used to call him Redbeard during his tenure.
Do you mean Russell Martin? I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but Stallings should be the starter.
150% agree. Stallings and Martin behind the plate. If martin by chance starts to hit again. put him at third once in a while to platoon if Osuna has to play OF or first.
Martin would be great for Stallings and the Pitchers even if he isn’t playing much.. and fans just love him.
IMO bring Batman back too 🙂 its a short season.. might as well lol.
EDIT: IMO if it wasn’t for them two, the pirates would have had the short run they did.
Interesting that two comments have JRM as JMR.
Maybe JMR is ‘Redbeard’.
“Murphy has never fully established himself as a MLB-caliber hitter, with a cumulative .219/.265/.357 slash line over 674 total plate appearances. But he’s trusted to handle backstop duties, having appeared with four different organizations over the past seven seasons.”
All that means is that he’s a SCRUB who couldn’t cut it with 4 different organizations and is only getting one more chance because he can catch.
Thanks for breaking that down. With that sort of in depth analysis you should have a future at the MLB Network.
Must have some talent to have this many teams want to give him a shot
They will probably only go with Jacob Stallings everyday and Murphy as the rare back-up. They’ll have Andrew Susac close by in Altoona on the taxi squad if they should need another catcher. Stallings is not in a platoon, he’s the number one catcher deservedly, and an unsung player at that.
With the taxi squad so close, they may just feel it best to go with two catchers and then stock up on as many relievers as possible, which I think would be a pretty good idea.
I am thinking non-roster infielder Phil Evans has a good chance to make the team. He’s had an eye-opening spring, including the first part back in Feb-March. I hope he gets it.