With one more day off before the second half of 2011 heats up I figured this would be a good oppurtunity to look ahead to 2012 and see who might be playing for the Pirates. The pitching short of some trades being made will likely look very similar to what the Pirates currently have. The position players on other hand are full of lots of possibilities. There is not one single position where there is a consesus on who should be starting there in 2012. Of course there is always a chance for an outside acquisition (free agent or trade) but since those are so difficult to project lets ignore that possibility for now.
Catcher: McKenry, Jaramillo, Fryer, Doumit, Snyder, Sanchez
1st Base: Jones, Pearce, Hague, Bowker, Alvarez
2nd Base: Walker, d’Arnaud, Harrison
3rd Base: Alvarez, Walker, d’Arnaud, Harrison
Shortstop: d’Arnaud, Cedeno
Left Field: Tabata, Presley, McCutchen
Center Field: McCutchen, Marte
Right Field: Presley, Tabata, Jones, Diaz, Bowker
At the catcher position Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit have club options for next season although Doumit’s is highly unlikely to be picked up. Snyder’s option on the other hand remains a possibility. For the time being though the trio of McKenry/Jaramillo/Fryer seems the most likely. The prospect of moving Alvarez over to 1B is intriguing but figures to be a long shot for 2012. The current front runner has to be a Jones/Pearce platoon although it is highly likely outside help will be looked for. Unless Alvarez moves to 1B, the second base position belongs to Walker. Barring a horrible showing in AAA this season Alvarez should be manning the hot corner in 2012. At SS the current plan appears to be lettin g d’Arnaud take over but Cedeno does have a very reasonable 3 million dollar option for next season. There is some speculation that Marte could potentially handle CF as early as next season which would move McCutchen to a corner but in all likelyhood McCutchen will man CF. In addition if Presley continue to play at a high level he will likely open next year as a starter. The only question then is who plays where between Tabata and Presley. My gut tells me Tabata stays in LF and Presley plays RF.
So lets recap:
So in the end the roster for next year probably will wind up looking not too much different than this season’s. If the Pirates are to make changes it is likely to come in the form of FA catcher, outside 1B acquistion, outside SS acquistion or bench help.