The Pirates added Luis Rivas to their 40-man roster today, all but assuring that he will head to Atlanta with the team on Sunday. Rivas has played well this spring, and could start at second base if Freddy Sanchez has not yet recovered from shoulder soreness. To make room for Rivas, the Pirates designated Jonah Bayliss for assignment. Bayliss was out of options, and must clear waivers to remain with the team. Neal Huntington is hopeful that he will clear waivers, but I would not expect it. Bayliss is the type of player that teams should be looking for on the waiver wire. He has good stuff, but has struggled with control. If he can figure that out, he can be a very solid reliever.
The Pirates also cut Kevin Thompson, Elmer Dessens and Casey Fossum. The demotion of Thompson would seem to lock Nyjer Morgan on the roster, although Huntington was quick to point out that Doug Mientkiewicz has performed well in the corner outfield spots. I am not sure why that is relevant, as the Pirates will need a backup centerfielder.
This leaves 33 players in camp. The roster will likely be set by Saturday.
The Pirates will face the Twins today in Bradenton at 1:05 PM. Ian Snell will make the start against Kevin Slowey. The game will be televised on FSN Pittsburgh and MLB.TV.