I should've known two preview posts a day was going to wear me out this week. The schedule has kind of shifted to the NL Central preview going live at noonish and the Pirate preview post going live sometime later in the evening. But before I launch into that today, there are two things I wanted to talk about/share.
First up, there were yesterday's cuts which mostly included every arm in camp that won't make the team or go on the disabled list. Vinnie Chulk lost his 25-man roster spot with the Hayden Penn claim, I think, but given the nature of bullpens I'd be willing to bet we see him again. The final roster questions now appear to be whether the team will actually carry 12 pitchers (that would include Penn and Taschner), and in that event whether they keep John Raynor, Steve Pearce, or Ramon Vazquez as the last position player. My gut feeling here is that they want Taschner on the roster and don't want to give up on Penn, so they'll keep both of them, and that Raynor will be the final position player for the same reason. They're also apparently debating whether Eric Kratz or Jason Jaramillo should be the backup catcher with the idea being that Jaramillo could benefit from regular playing time at Triple-A. I guess there's maybe some logic in that, but let's not fool ourselves here. Jaramillo's 27 and he's a backup catcher. Why not let him be a backup catcher? If Kratz and Taschner both make the club, two players will have to come off the 40-man, but since Ramon Vazquez seems ticketed for release and Jose Ascanio for the 60-day DL, this probably isn't a concern.
Second, I just wanted to share the link Andrew Johnson's FanHouse piece about Garrett Jones with some great quotes from Don Long about the work he did with Jones last spring.