Pirates Cut 10 from Big League Camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Prior to departing to Fort Myers, Fla., for the Bucs game against the Minnesota Twins, the Pittsburgh Pirates cut 10 players from Major League camp. Highlighting the list was lefty Jeff Locke, who made his Major League debut with the Bucs in 2011, and the Pirates first round pick in 2009 catcher Tony Sanchez.

  • Catcher Ramon Cabrera, right-hander Mike Crotta, outfielder Robbie Grossman, infielder Anderson Hernandez, righty Logan Kensing and Sanchez were all reassigned to minor league camp.
  • Infielder Chase d’Arnaud, Locke, and southpaw Rudy Owens were optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
  • Righty Duke Welker was optioned to Altoona.

“You always hate to send guys out,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said. “The worst days are releasing guys, those are the ones that you lose sleep over. Terminating staff members, you’re impacting people’s lives. Here you’re just delaying their dream a little bit. You’re giving them feedback as what they need to do to get back here. What they need to do to help the Major League club. These [cuts] are not enjoyable. It’s a great chance to reinforce some messages in the younger guys. Some of the older guys, their sense of urgency becomes more prominent.”

d’Arnaud, who split the 2011 season with Triple-A Indianapolis and in the Majors with Pittsburgh, said he saw the move coming while cleaning out his big league locker at McKechnie Field this morning. The 25-year-old shortstop went 3-for-10 this spring with two RBI.

“Sometimes potential can be a blessing, but sometimes it can be a curse,” Huntington said. “We believe he’s got the potential to be an everyday Major League shortstop, but we’ve got some work to do to get there. Offensively this spring he’s made some great adjustments. The bat is playing better than it has in the past. Defensively, it’s just reliability. He can make any play on the field, spectacular ones, we just got to make the routine ones on a more consistent basis.”

“Chase came up last year, arguably a little bit early…If we didn’t believe he was an everyday guy, he’s probably be in a great competition to be our utility guy. He can do some things on the field that some of the other guys can’t . They can do some things they he doesn’t. Overall we’re still trying to keep him growing.”

Locke was a September call up last season and appeared in one game during the Grapefruit League this spring where he allowed three runs on five hits over two innings with two strikeouts. Owens, like Locke will benefit from getting optioned to minor league camp, where they can get stretched out and get ready for the 2012 season.

“They need to continue to grow and develop and be rotation options for us whether it’s in April, whether it’s in August, whether it’s next year,” Huntington said. “A guy like Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke, we got to keep them stretched out, building up here in spring training, working, refining, developing, so that they become viable Major League starting pitcher options for us this year and next, and beyond.”

Owens, 24, made three appearances this spring where he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings with a pair of walks. His last outing came on Monday where he was limited to just an inning due to too many arms needing work this spring. Owens is looking to bounce back from his 2011 season.

“It’s just number of innings, and that’s why those guys have got to go out,” Huntington said. “With the number of pitchers that we have in camp, the number of pitchers that we have competing for our bullpen spots, as the starters get to go four, five, six, seven innings, the reliever innings become more and more difficult to come by for the young starters. He’s thrown the ball better this spring then he did last spring. We’re looking for a good year from Rudy.”

Sanchez, a first round pick in 2009, will likely start the season in Double-A Altoona unless he has a great spring in minor league camp. Sanchez, too, is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 where he hit just .241 in his first full season in Class-AA.

“As we’ve talked about it right now, likely Altoona with the idea that it’s where he finishes, not where he starts,” Huntington said on where Sanchez would start the year. “We want to do some things with him offensively…We want to make sure we get off to a good start with him, have him graduate that level. If we ultimately feel that these next two weeks he’s ready to go to Indianapolis, that’s great. But our focus is where he finishes, not where he starts. He’s taken some great steps forward.”

The Pirates active roster in Major League camp is currently at 48.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Sanchez Working Hard to Bounce Back

Next Story »

Erik Bedard Makes Start at Pirate City

  • Todd Smith

    I think I’ve seen about all I need to see from Brandon Boggs and Doug Slaten as well…

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    23 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles