A lot of people have been saying that the Pirates need to field a team consisting of their “Best 25”. It sounds good but if you take it for what it actually means it would be a horrible way to build a baseball team. Think about it for a second would you what would the Pirates roster look like if they really did field their best 25 players? I’m going to take a look and make some calls based solely on my opinion. We are going to construct a roster of the best 25 players Pittsburgh has right now.
Looking at the 40 man roster there are a few players who look like they are certainly amongst the Pirates best 25 players. I will look deeper into the Pirates system and off the 40 man roster in a little bit.
A.J. Burnett, Jason Grilli, Joel Hanrahan, Jared Hughes, Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Starling Marte, Travis Snider
Other Strong 40 man candidates
Erik Bedard, Jeff Locke, Chris Resop, Wandy Rodriguez, Bryan Morris, Tony Watson, Duke Welker, Justin Wilson, Gaby Sanchez, Michael McKenry
Non Roster Candidates
Gerrit Cole, Victor Black, Chris Leroux
And actually right there are the 25 players I consider the best and I have a good argument for all of them. Lets look at the roster break down.
1B: Jones, Sanchez
OF: Snider, Marte, McCutchen
SP: Burnett, McDonald, Karstens, Rodriguez, Bedard, Locke, Wilson, Cole
RP: Grilli, Hanrahan, Hughes, Resop, Morris, Watson, Welker, Black, Leroux
Anyone see a problem here yet? The best 25 man roster consists of 16 pitchers and only 9 position players. Plus there is no shortstop and no backup catcher. I’m sure you could argue against some guys I included and argue for some player like possibly Harrison, Presley or Tabata but you get my drift. There are seriously flaws if you build a roster based solely on the best 25 players.
Now lets actually try to build an optimal roster.
1st Base: Jones
2nd Base: Walker
3rd Base: Alvarez
Left Field: Marte
Center Field: McCutchen
Right Field: Snider
Bench: Barajas, Sanchez, Navarro, Mercer, Tabata
Rotation: Burnett, McDonald, Karstens, Rodriguez, Bedard
Bullpen: Leroux, Watson, Wilson, Resop, Hughes, Grilli, Hanrahan
September Call Ups: Tony Sanchez, Jeff Clement, Chase d’Arnaud, Alex Presley, Bryan Morris, Tim Wood, Doug Slaten