BRADENTON, Fla. - With just eight days remaining until the final Grapefruit League spring training game for the Pirates, the club took a step further to their final 25-man on Saturday. Prior to the their game against the Houston Astros, the Pirates cut five players from big league camp: infielder Jordy Mercer, and non-roster invite pitchers Shairon Martis, Jo-Jo Reyes and Doug Slaten and catcher Jose Morales.
Mercer, 25, was added to the Pirates 40-man roster over the offseason after a solid 2011 season. Mercer hit .255 with 30 doubles, 19 home runs and 69 RBI over 132 games with Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. The former 3rd round pick in 2008, who was drafted as a shortstop, will start the season at Triple-A Indy, where he will primarily play second base.