Pirates notebook: Team finalizes Opening Day roster, designate Mazzaro
PHILADELPHIA — The Pirates finalized their Opening Day 25-man roster Saturday, designating for assignment a significant reliever from their 2013 roster in Vin Mazzaro.
The Pirates had a logjam of four out-of-options relievers competing for three spots. The Pirates elected to keep Stolmy Pimentel and Jeanmar Gomez — both can work as a starter or reliever — over Mazzaro, who posted a 2.81 ERA over 73 2⁄3 innings last season. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters Friday night that Bryan Morris had made the roster after an impressive spring performance.
General manager Neal Huntington described the decision to cut ties with Mazzaro as “difficult.”
“(We) worked with Clint (Hurdle) on a bullpen that will provide us with length, depth and versatility. Short-term and long-term balance. Our challenge is we had four guys who we liked a lot,” Huntington said. “Mazzaro took the ball in some length roles for us last year and he got some important outs for us in (later innings). With what we see from Bryan Morris, we think he can do that and grow into something more. In Pimentel, we see a guy that has all the ability to be a starter as we move forward. Jeanmar took the ball in about every role.”
By designating Mazzaro for assignment, the Pirates have 10 days to trade the right-hander, place him on waivers or release him. Huntington doubted Mazzaro would clear waivers. Mazzaro agreed to a one-year, $950,000 contract with the club earlier this offseason to avoid arbitration.
“That may be where the holdup has been. (Teams) have waited for us to make a decision,” Huntington said of the trade market. “Maybe now this will simplify other teams' process.”
As expected, the Pirates purchased the contract of Travis Ishikawa, the only nonroster invitee to make the 25-man roster. Hurdle said Ishikawa will not be used in a pure platoon at first base, and Gaby Sanchez will see at-bats against right-handed pitchers.
The Pirates placed Jeff Locke (side strain) and Chris Stewart (knee surgery) on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. The Pirates also outrighted Andy Oliver off the 40-man roster. The Pirates have one empty spot on their 40-man roster.
Liriano has green light
Liriano, who had groin discomfort last week, completed a bullpen session without issue Friday and said he is ready for his Opening Day start Monday against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.
“It doesn't bother me at all,” Liriano said Saturday. “Everything is good.”
Cole rained out
Gerrit Cole was scheduled to make a final tune-up start Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies, but with the game rained out, Cole had to settle for bullpen work in a rainy, chilly Citizens Bank Park.
Cole is in line to start the third game of the season against the Cubs, following Liriano and Charlie Morton.
Opening Day logistics
The Pirates are encouraging fans attending the opener to arrive as early as possible. The Roberto Clemente Bridge will close to vehicular traffic at 9 a.m. All parking lots and garages on the North Shore will be closed to commuter traffic and will open at 9 a.m. with event rates. Fans can park at the Consol Energy Center lots ($7.25) and ride the T to North Side Station for free Monday. Fans can who park west of Allegheny Avenue also can ride the T for free to the North Side Station.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates SS prospect Tucker making progress after thumb surgery
- Pirates shift times on 5 games, including rescheduling 2 fireworks nights
- For Pirates, NL Central test just got tougher
- Pirates sign 9 to yearlong deals; 3 going to arbitration
- Kang says he ‘can play better’ than Pirates current SS Mercer
- Korean star Kang could be financial windfall for Pirates