Pirates Cut Ten Players Including Grossman, Locke, and Sanchez

The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first big round of cuts today, sending five players down to minor league camp. The players who received the gray helmets in their lockers were Jeff Locke, Duke Welker, Mike Crotta, Robbie Grossman, and Logan Kensing.

Jeff Locke was optioned to AAA. Duke Welker was sent to AA. Mike Crotta, Robbie Grossman and Logan Kensing were all re-assigned to minor league camp.

More moves are expected later today.

UPDATE 7:44 AM: Two more cuts, as the Pirates send Rudy Owens and Chase d’Arnaud to AAA.

UPDATE 8:00 AM: Ramon Cabrera has been reassigned to minor league camp.

UPDATE 8:03 AM: The Spring Training Tracker is being updated as each move is announced.

UPDATE 8:08 AM: Anderson Hernandez and Tony Sanchez have been reassigned to minor league camp, putting the total cuts at ten.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Robert Decker

they made a bad move releasing Kevin Decker, I just hope he get pickup by a another team .


From what i saw last year, Locke and D’Arnaud are ways away from becoming even average bench players.  Locke might be able to compete for the 5th spot in our rotation at the end of the year but I didn’t see much to indicate he has the talent to develop into more.  The 5th spot appears to be his ceiling.  I think D’Arnaud is even further away and is the type of player, like Josh Harrison, who you call up to fill an emergency hole in the roster but you can’t ever expect a positive contribution over the long haul.  You don’t have to worry about affecting their development because they don’t have the tools necessary to develop into an average starter. 

I also feel the same way about Brad Lincoln. He essentially has one plus pitch, one average pitch and nothing else.  How is that going to be successful as a starter?  I think we would be better off converting Lincoln to a middle reliever or constrain ourselves to the fact that as a starter he is merely 4A depth, like Nelson Figeuroa.


Agree on Lock and Lincoln, disagree on D’ Arnaud.
I don’t have favorite players when it comes to them making the team or not, but from what I have seen of D’Arnaud, he is fast, has range and is fearless, he will steal a lot of bases. He was raw when he was brought up and showed a lot of flaws, but most of those flaws can be corrected, the SS for the Cubs is touted as all world and he had somewhere around 30 errors. The big question with D’Arnaud and the only question I have with him is, will he hit, even .250? The guy I think many are overlooking is Mercer, I see another Walker in this guy. I would not be surprised to see D’Arnaud traded, because the Pirates do have some fast defensive SS coming along anyway.


You have to be on base to steal bases, he doesn’t get on enough.  


Locke is definitely a surprise to me this early. I didn’t expect him to be cut with three full weeks to go in the spring schedule. Especially not after Burnett got hurt. If you asked me about the Altoona Four last spring, I would’ve never guessed that two would possibly be relievers now and the other two would be cut this early in spring, and likely none of the four will make the opening day roster. That group took a collective wrong turn on the way to Pittsburgh. You can never have enough minor league pitching.


Hernandez, Locke, and d’Arnaud are surprises to me to be cut this early.

John Lease

I thought Anderson Hernandez had a real shot at the team, and I’m really surprised Locke got cut this quickly.


I thought Hernandez had a good shot, too, but I didn’t want to see him get the job. It looks like the bench now, assuming Alvarez doesn’t get sent to AAA, is Navarro or Harrison for one spot and Fox, Evans or Hague for the other.

I’m not surprised to see Locke, d’Arnaud, etc., go now. They had no chance of making the team and they’ll get more playing time in minor lg. camp.

Steve Dimmick

is Grossman expected to start AA?  Why was he assigned to minor league camp?  Is that for A ball?


I think the way it works is that 40-man roster guys have to be optioned to specific teams. So AAA or AA is specified for Locke and Welker, but the others are just reassigned.

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