The Pirates could choose to go a lot of directions here. There are obviously 15 players currently on the 40 man roster who are not on the 25 man roster. In addition to those 15 players guys like Tim Wood, Doug Slaten, Crhis Leroux, Rick VandenHurk, Victor Black, Tony Sanchez, Brock Holt and even Gerrit Cole all have a case to be made that they should be called up. However the only players currently not on the 40 man roster who I believe have a chance of being called up are Chris Leroux and Gustavo Nunez. So using that as a basis that leaves us with 17 candidates. We can quickly eliminate Marte and Qualls as candidates to join the team on September 1st as both players will be on the DL past that date. I also doubt we will see Oscar Tejeda make the jump all the way from AA and he is actually a DFA candidate to make room for Nunez or Leroux. That leaves us with 14 players.
For the position players the list is relatively small with Fryer, Hague, Navarro, d’Arnaud, Presley and the previously mentioned Nunez. All of these players have a chance to be recalled but my guess is that we will see only Fryer, d’Arnaud and perhaps Presley. Nunez remains a wildcard here as he will either have to be added or offered back to the Detroit Tigers. It is certainly possible a player like Tejeda is removed from the roster to give him a look though.
On the pitching side the possibilities are more numerous with Locke, McCutchen, McPherson, Meek, Morris, Welker, Wilson and the previously mentioned Leroux. I don’t see either McPherson or Welker getting much consideration as both are still relatively new to AAA. I also doubt the Pirates call up Locke as he would just be used strictly in a bullpen role and they want him starting. I’m against bringing up McCutchen or Meek and actually think both should be DFA candidates but there remains a strong possibility one or both will join the club. It is my expectation that Leroux will be added to the 40 man roster and join the club on September 1st. This leaves Wilson and Morris, the Pirates appear to be prepping Wilson for a September call up by moving him to the bullpen so I’d be surprised if he didn’t come up but Morris is an interesting case as he has to make the Pirates 25 man roster next season or be waived and yet the Pirates haven’t given him a chance to show what he can do. I have to think that will change in September. So my prediction here is McCutchen, Leroux, Wilson and Morris.
When you add in the fact Marte and Qualls will likely be back early on that makes the total number of players on the roster potentially 35 and that to me seems unlikely but it makes sense to call up most of the players I listed and the ones who it really doesn’t I could see the Pirates doing anyway. So really this is a long way of saying I’m not really sure what to expect. I see no reason for adding Nunez but then again there is no harm if you DFA Tejeda. I really see very little use for Qualls and Correia on the roster but there is really no reason to remove them right now. Personally I’d like to see Locke come up and start in place of Bedard, Leroux, Wilson and Morris join the bullpen to give it some fresh arms, Fryer join the team as the 3rd catcher and last man off the bench freeing up Barajas and McKenry, d’Arnaud come up as a pinch runner and of course Marte readded to push Tabata to the bench. Presley, Nunez and Qualls are all really unnnecessary in my book. So that would put the roster at 32 which seems to me to be much more likely than 35. Still it will likely be something in between.