BOSTON -- After trimming down their Spring Training roster over the last month, the Pirates finalized their 25-man Opening Day roster with a series of moves Sunday morning.Pittsburgh optioned first baseman/outfielder José Osuna to Triple-A Indianapolis and reassigned catchers Jacob Stallings and Jackson Williams and outfielder Danny Ortiz to the
BOSTON -- After trimming down their Spring Training roster over the last month, the Pirates finalized their 25-man Opening Day roster with a series of moves Sunday morning.
Pittsburgh optioned first baseman/outfielder José Osuna to Triple-A Indianapolis and reassigned catchers Jacob Stallings and Jackson Williams and outfielder Danny Ortiz to the Minor Leagues. Manager Clint Hurdle announced the Bucs' entire pitching staff on Friday night, so the bench was all that remained in question.
With Osuna optioned, Alen Hanson will join Phil Gosselin on Pittsburgh's bench. Hanson is out of Minor League options, so the Bucs would have risked losing the switch-hitting utility man if they didn't carry him on the roster -- an "irreversible decision," as Hurdle put it.
"We have encouraged and challenged him: He's got to be a productive one of the 25 that we move forward with," Hurdle said Sunday at Fenway Park. "It's a guy that's been fun to watch at times, then there's times where you say, wait a minute, the awareness, the consistency -- those are things he's well aware of in the conversations we have about areas he needs to improve."
Hanson, 24, was thrilled to be included on his first Opening Day roster. He will receive playing time at second, third and in the outfield while coming off the bench to hit and pinch-run. After hearing he'd made it, Hanson immediately called his mother.
"I told her, 'Hey mom, I made the team.' She was like, 'Oh man, that's awesome. Praise God,' and we left it there," Hanson said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. "But then she called me back, and she's like, 'Hey, you made the big league team?'
"Typical moms. You have to speak in detail for them to grasp it. She's very excited for me."
Osuna enjoyed an outstanding spring, hitting .407/.492/.759 with a team-high five home runs and 17 RBIs in 54 at-bats over 22 games. Hurdle said the Pirates are pleased with his overall development, but they don't make decisions based solely on Spring Training performance.
"We believe Jose is also an impact bat. He needs to get out of the blocks quick in case one of our core corner guys would go down," Hurdle said. "The limited playing time he would have in that role, we don't feel that best serves him at this particular point in time. ... He made a very favorable impression on the staff and on the teammates in there, and I anticipate seeing him back at some point this year."
The rest of the roster was set in place before Sunday's announcement. They will begin the season Monday at Fenway Park with 12 pitchers: starters Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, Ivan Nova and Tyler Glasnow, plus relievers Tony Watson, Daniel Hudson, Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio, Antonio Bastardo, Wade LeBlanc and Trevor Williams.
The Bucs kept both catchers, Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart, and only three true outfielders: Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte. Their infielders are Hanson, Gosselin, Josh Bell, John Jaso, Josh Harrison, Adam Frazier, Jordy Mercer and David Freese.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.