The Pittsburgh Pirates have begun their 2017 MLB campaign.
However, during the offseason, I was concerned whether Pittsburgh would be able to fill the void left by the departures of utility man Sean Rodriguez and pitcher Francisco Liriano.
Every MLB squad must have one or two athletes that have the ability to play almost every position except the batboy and mascot.
When the dog days of August begin dogging your everyday position players, someone must be able to come off the bench to relieve them from minor injuries as well as daily aches and pains associated with a 162-game season and that player has to be above average. According to an article posted by Adam Berry of MLB.com, “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 manager Clint 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 to reporters Sunday at Boston’s 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.