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Pirates Roster Buzz: Final bullpen decision looms

The Pirates bullpen situation got a little bit of clarity this morning as John Holdzkom was demoted to Triple-A. Holdzkom still having options hurt his cause to make the club out of spring training.
The four relievers set in stone right now are closer Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Antonio Bastardo and Vance Worley.
That leaves four players battling for three spots in Jared Hughes, Radhames Liz, Arquimedes Caminero and Stolmy Pimentel.
Of the four, only Hughes still has options.
Liz and Caminero are both considered likely to make the team.
Caminero has flashed excellent stuff and had a very strong spring with 18 strikeouts and walking just one batter in 9 innings pitched. He has a 1.59 ERA.
That leaves Hughes and Pimentel.
Hughes has proven himself at the MLB level, posting a 1.96 ERA with 13 holds last season and is considered a good leader in the clubhouse. The option factor always come into play in situations like this and what will be telling is how the Pirates weigh Hughes horrible spring.
In Pimentel, the Pirates still have a pitcher who remains project and who’s only sticking around because of the “potential” factor. Not sure the Pirates are ready to cut the cord just yet.
Chris Stewart (hamstring) will start the season on the DL……One of the more interesting bench decision will come down to infielder Pedro Florimon who remains in the mix to head north with the Pirates…..

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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