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.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.