By Jason Shetler
The Pirates made an interesting trade with one of their division rivals in December, as they acquired Jason Rogers from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Keon Broxton and pitcher Trey Supak. Last season, Rogers posted an .808 OPS along with a 120 OPS+ while splitting time at first base with Adam Lind. Based on those stats that Rogers put up in 2015, he would appear to be a lock on the Pirates bench, but will that be the case come the end of Spring Training?
The first base platoon is already set with John Jaso and Michael Morse, so Rogers won’t see much time there, unless the Pirates were to trade Morse between now and Opening Day, which probably won’t happen. With the recent signing of David Freese, Rogers won’t see much time at third base either. Two other candidates looking to make the roster are Cole Figueroa and Pedro Florimon, both of which have more versatility on defense, as well as good speed. In the case of Florimon, he’s out of options, where as Rogers has an option remaining, so that could become a factor. Outside of being used in pinch-hit spots, Rogers would likely get little playing time. If that’s the case, then perhaps the Pirates are better off sending him to AAA Indianapolis to receive regular at-bats at DH and first base. Rogers could then be called up in the event of an injury or someone struggling.