Atkins releasedThe Pittsburgh Pirates have released infielder Garrett Atkins, and cut Fernando Nieve and Justin Thomas from major league camp, cutting their Spring Training roster down to 41 players. That group of players does not include Kevin Hart, who is on the disabled list.
All three players were non roster invitees. Atkins was set to make $800 K if he made the majors. He was competing with Josh Fields and Andy Marte for a bench spot, although his performance this Spring, and over the last few years in the majors, has been poor.
Nieve was signed as a minor league free agent early in the off-season and should pitch out of Indianapolis. Thomas was outrighted off the 40-man roster this past off-season, but re-signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent. He had good numbers this Spring, but the recent acquisition of Garrett Olson takes up the left handed relief duties in the bullpen....
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 AccuScore.com, 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.