Pirates Release Nine International Players
Nothing has been formally announced by the Pittsburgh Pirates but according to their milb.com pages, the Bucs have released the following players from either the DSL or VSL teams:
Pitchers Remberto Romo, Jose Acosta, Ericdavis Marquez, Deivis Goatache, Rafael Rodriguez, Yoan Gonzalez, Luis Figuera, utility fielder Alberto Valdemora and catcher Jhoanel Jimenez.
Acosta is currently suspended under minor league baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program for using Stanozolol, so if he’s signed by any team he would have to finish serving his suspension before he could play. He pitched just one game for the VSL team before getting hurt and eventually being suspended in late July, 11 games before the season ended. His suspension was for 50 games.
Rodriguez took a regular turn in the rotation for the VSL team the last two years and has been with the team for three seasons now. He showed very little progress plus he’s already 20 years old and on the small side so his future looked very limited.
Romo was signed in 2008 out of Mexico. He is also on the small side and had minimal success as a reliever over two seasons although he is still just 19 this season so it’s possible he may pitch elsewhere.
Marquez is 20 years old 5′ 11″ lefty who posted a 6.26 ERA out of the pen in his second season with the VSL squad. Batters hit .340 off him so his release comes as little surprise.
Goatache is 22 years old who wasn’t invited to spring training so that basically ended his career with the Pirates as players can only play four years maximum in the VSL, which he had already reached. He showed slight improvement each of his first three season but got hit hard his fourth year posting a 6.21 ERA.
Gonzalez pitched 18 games out of the pen in his only full season compiling 52 IP with a 3.29 ERA but he’s already 21 years old and his strikeout rate was low versus mainly younger competition.
Jimenez was a backup catcher for two seasons. The 20 year old switch hitter was signed in April of 2009 and hit decent his first year in limited play but in 2010 he batted just .214 over 70 AB’s with no power.
Valdemora is already 21 years old and has batted under .200 in both of his seasons in the DSL. This past season he was used mainly off the bench late in games getting just 25 AB’s over 21 games despite being on the roster all season.
The only slight surprise of the group would be Luis Figuera who posted a sub-2.00 ERA each of the last two seasons while posting an extremely high groundball rate. His downside like most of the other guys on this list is the fact he is already 20 years old and still hasn’t pitched in the states after three seasons. Still, with those stats you would think he would at least get a look in Bradenton before they released him.
None of these players were high profile signings.