Kevin Hart cut, McCutchen the 5th starter

As I was about to fly out of Dulles today, heading down to Florida, I saw that Kevin Hart was cut, which was a big surprise.  I had a lot of time to think about the move today, between flying down to Fort Lauderdale, talking about the move with my Dad over Primanti Brothers sandwiches, and driving my wife’s car from Fort Lauderdale to Bradenton.  Some thoughts:

Since the Pirates only need a fifth starter one time between now and April 24th, that start being on April 11th, I don’t view this as anything more than the battle for the April 11th start.  In fact, I had some thoughts on how the situation could be handled.

Daniel McCutchen is only needed on the 11th.  To keep him up for two weeks would be a waste.  The Pirates could option McCutchen down to the minors to get him some work between April 11th and April 24th.  Since McCutchen would be down for less than 20 days, he would not burn through an option, assuming he doesn’t spend any more days on optional assignment during the 2010 season.  This allows the Pirates to get more work for McCutchen in the time off, plus it would make it easier for them to carry an extra bench player.

The Pirates could carry six bench players, making it very possible to keep John Raynor.  They’d have to go with one fewer bullpen arm the first week, although that’s not a problem with D.J. Carrasco in the mix.  Then, after McCutchen’s start, send him down and bring up a reliever to help the bullpen.  Now the extra bench spot is being borrowed from the roster spot which would normally be used by the fifth starter.  Then, by April 24th, when you’re ready to call up McCutchen again, you make your decision on the bench.

Of course, all of that could be avoided if they traded Ramon Vazquez to the Rangers, as the Rangers reportedly are looking at Vazquez, according to Ed Price.  And we might have to consider that I had too much time to think about this in my tour of Florida this afternoon.

As for the April 11th-April 24th time frame, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Hart was given the chance to win the fifth starter role in that time.  In fact, the Pirates save an option on Hart by bringing him up no later than April 17th.  That gives him time for 2-3 starts at the Indy level.

Neal Huntington admits that Hart had the inside track, and Hart really blew that chance in Spring Training with his poor control.  But the organization seems to like him, so if he gets the control worked out in AAA to start the season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him up sooner, rather than later.

Also on the cut list today: Neil Walker, Brian Myrow, Hector Gimenez, Jean Machi, Wilfredo Ledezma, Brian Burres, and Chris Jakubauskas.  Walker, Hart, and Jakubauskas were all assigned to AAA, with the rest assigned to minor league camp, and all of them likely ending up at the AAA level.  The Spring Training tracker and the projected 25-man roster pages are updated with the moves.

I’ll be going to Pirates City in the morning.  Leave a comment with any requests for pictures, videos, or interview questions and I’ll see what I can do.  You can follow my updates throughout the day by subscribing to my Twitter feed, and you’ll be able to see all of the pictures by becoming a fan of the BUCCO Fans Facebook page.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Prospect Watching: Donnie Veal and Jeff Sues

Next Story »

Young to try third base

Latest Analysis

  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    20 hours ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    2 days ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    3 days ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    4 days ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Antonio Bastardo

    How Ray Searage is Trying to Fix Antonio Bastardo’s Control Issues

    4 days ago

    Tony Watson has established himself as one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. Out of 142 qualified relievers last year, he ranked 21st in WAR, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Q&A: Will PNC Park Burn Down When Neil Walker Eventually Leaves?

    4 days ago

    Last week we started a Q&A article that will run every Friday. Right after the first article went up, we got a lot more questions. Normally I’ll ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles