As it turns out, the Pirates released Ross Ohlendorf last night to create a space on the roster to make a Rule 5 pick today, not to make room for Yamaico Navarro. The roster spot for Navarro will apparently be cleared sometime this afternoon.
The draft is in about five minutes. I’m busy this morning, but I’ll try to get this post updated as quickly as I can. Until then, you can check out Vlad at Bucs Dugout’s great preview of the draft because the Pirates’ pick will likely come from his list of players.
UPDATE (10:12)- The Pirates picked Gustavo Nunez, a shortstop from the Tigers organization that Baseball America calls a “highly skilled defender with a highly questionable bat.” They just missed Pedro Ciriaco so much! They also apparently lost Brett Lorin to the Diamondbacks, which is a little disappointing, but not really all that surprising.
ANALYZING UPDATE: I’m not sure I understand this pick a whole lot. Nunez is 23 and only just made it to Double-A part way through 2011. He had a decent line at Advanced-A this year (.304/.368/.431), but he was pretty brutal there in 2010 as a 22-year old, hitting .222/.263/.281. He was also pretty rough at Double-A after his promotion in 2011, hitting .215/.282/.289 in 34 games. He shows flashes with the bat from time to time that might make him a bit more interesting if he were already in the organization, but I find it hard to believe the Pirates are going to be able to hide him on the 25-man roster all year with Clint Barmes and Yamaico Navarro and Chase d’Arnaud and Jordy Mercer all being more deserving of playing time at this point.