Fifth starter, 'pen roles to be determined at Bucs camp

Fifth starter, 'pen roles to be determined at Bucs camp

Trucks roll. Lawnmowers rev. And here at pirates.com, we count down to Spring Training '15 with a series of quick shots looking at issues facing the Bucs at the dawn of a new season. Now: The lineup, rotation and bullpen -- in pencil. Next: It all starts -- with Three Questions.

The Pirates' 2015 picture is far more in focus than it has been at the onset of recent Spring Trainings. Manager Clint Hurdle and staff will be able to concentrate on tricking out a set core in all three key departments. There are jobs to be won, principal among them No. 5 starter and a couple of seats in the bullpen, and decisions to be made. Naturally, jobs can also be lost. As the Bucs hit the turf and dirt, here is a rundown of who owns them and how they line up.

2014 record
88-74, 2nd place in the NL Central; No. 1 NL Wild Card

Outlook: McCutchen, OF, PIT

Projected batting order
1. 3B Josh Harrison:
.315 BA, .347 OBP, .490 SLG, 13 HR, 52 RBIs in 2014
2. RF Gregory Polanco:
.235 BA, .307 OBP, .343 SLG, 7 HR, 33 RBIs in 2014
3. CF Andrew McCutchen:
.314 BA, .410 OBP, .542 SLG, 25 HR, 83 RBIs in 2014
4. 2B Neil Walker:
.271 BA, .342 OBP, .467 SLG, 23 HR, 76 RBIs in 2014
5. LF Starling Marte:
.291 BA, .356 OBP, .453 SLG, 13 HR, 56 RBIs, 30 SBs in 2014
6. 1B Pedro Alvarez:
.231 BA, .312 OBP, .405 SLG, 18 HR, 56 RBIs in 2014
7. C Francisco Cervelli:
.301 BA, .370 OBP, .432 SLG, 2 HR, 13 RBIs in 2014
8. SS Jordy Mercer:
.255 BA, .305 OBP, .387 SLG, 12 HR, 55 RBIs in 2014

Projected rotation
1. LHP Francisco Liriano, 7-10, 3.38 ERA in 2014
2. RHP Gerrit Cole, 11-5, 3.65 ERA in 2014
3. RHP Charlie Morton, 6-12, 3.72 ERA in 2014
4. RHP A.J. Burnett, 8-18, 4.59 ERA in 2014
5. RHP Vance Worley, 8-4, 2.85 ERA in 2014

Projected bullpen
Closer: Mark Melancon, 33/37 saves, 1.90 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Jared Hughes, 1.96 ERA, 14 holds, 30/37 stranded inherited runners in 2014
LH setup man: Tony Watson, 1.63 ERA, 34 holds in 2014

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.