Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.
Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)
Catcher: Jason Jaramillo - Age 29
First Base: Garrett Jones - Age 30
Second Base: Neil Walker - Age 26
Third Base: Pedro Alvarez - Age 25
Shortstop: Chase d'Arnaud - Age 25
Left Field: Jose Tabata - Age 23
Center Field: Andrew McCutchen - Age 25
Right Field: Alex Presley - Age 26
1. LF Tabata 2. RF Presley 3. CF McCutchen 4. 1B Jones 5. 2B Walker 6. 3B Alvarez 7. C Jaramillo 8. SS d'Arnaud
1. RHP Charlie Morton - Age 28
2. RHP Kevin Correia - Age 31
3. RHP James McDonald - Age 27
4. RHP Jeff Karstens - Age 29
5. RHP Brad Lincoln - Age 26
Closer: RHP Joel Hanrahan - Age 30
Some Quick Thoughts
- I'd expect the Pirates to add some help at catcher, first base and shortstop for next season. Jaramillo shouldn't be starting, Jones is a platoon bat and d'Arnaud hasn't shown that he's capable of hitting MLB pitching with any regularity.
- Pedro Alvarez should get a full season's worth of plate appearances with Pittsburgh in 2012, simply because the Pirates need to see what they have in the guy. Scouts still have faith and he's continued to hit in the minors, so at this point they just need to let him sink or swim with the big boys.
- They'll add some bench help, presumably either in the form of veterans or recently released former top prospects. Outside of maybe Gorkys Hernandez, there doesn't appear to be much help on the way for next year.
- It's a brutal rotation now, and it could be even worse if Morton's hip surgery causes him to miss the beginning of 2012. It's unclear whether that's going to the case at this point, but expect the Pirates to be looking for low-priced pitching this winter.