Bucs to carry nine pitchers, 16 bats in WC Game
Three position spots to be filled by catchers, with Sanchez activated
PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle and the Pirates do not have to set their final 25-man roster for the National League Wild Card Game until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, but the manager revealed a few features Tuesday.
With the ability to reset a roster again in the event the Pirates advance to the NL Division Series, it makes no sense to carry a full rotation. The Bucs had nine pitchers and 16 position players on their Wild Card roster last season, and Hurdle said they'd do the same Wednesday against San Francisco (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Of those nine pitchers last year, two were starters. Edinson Volquez is getting the ball in the do-or-die game against the Giants, and it's likely the Pirates will carry one other starter in case Volquez has an early exit, but Hurdle did not comment on who it would be. Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole pitched Saturday and Sunday, respectively, leaving Vance Worley and Jeff Locke as the two starters who would enter well-rested.
"I'm not going to get into the names, they'll come out at 10 a.m. [Wednesday]," Hurdle said. "I do think you have to anticipate for a number of different scenarios, as most teams will."
Nine pitchers leaves room for 16 position players on the one-day roster, and Hurdle confirmed three of those will be filled by catchers. With Russell Martin (hamstring) and Chris Stewart (wrist) both available, but banged up, Tony Sanchez will also be activated.
With the abundance of room, all but one healthy position player on the 40-man roster will be active Wednesday. That spot is likely to come down to either Chase d'Arnaud or Brent Morel.