The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first cuts of Spring Training on Monday morning and all six players are right-handed pitchers. They optioned JT Brubaker, Blake Cederlind and Cody Ponce to Indianapolis. James Marvel, Luis Escobar and Montana DuRapau were all assigned to minor league camp.
None of these players were expected to compete for an Opening Day spot. The latter three all saw some brief action with the Pirates last year, but they were all dropped from the 40-man roster in the off-season. Brubaker (pictured above) is the best prospect in the group, but he missed most of last year with a forearm strain and needs to be stretched out for starting rotation depth. Cederlind made a strong impression in camp this year with a fastball that hits triple digits, but he spent very little time in Triple-A last year, so he still needs to work on things, mainly control and secondary pitches. Ponce saw brief time with Indianapolis last year after being acquired for Jordan Lyles. DuRapau was the only player in this group to spend all of 2019 above Double-A.
Our Spring Training tracker has been updated. The Pirates are now down to 53 healthy players in camp, with 17 days left until Opening Day.