Pirates Release Eight From Minor League Camp

The Pirates have released Brian Leach

The Pittsburgh Pirates have released eight players from minor league camp. The players are as follows:

Cliff Archibald - He made 19 appearances with State College last year, with a 4.11 ERA, although he struggled with his control, putting up a 5.0 BB/9 ratio. Archibald pitched out of the bullpen, and the right-hander was sitting 87-91 MPH most of the year. He was a 36th round draft pick in 2010.

Brad Chalk - Chalk was taken in the Triple-A phase of the 2010 Rule 5 draft. He spent the 2011 season in Altoona, getting 266 at-bats with a .244 average. He’s a speedy player with good defense at the corner outfield spots, although he lacks power and a good hitting ability.

Tyler Cox - Cox is a left-hander, taken in the 35th round of the 2008 draft. He spent most of the last two years in Bradenton, putting up a 2.60 ERA in 27.2 innings in relief last year. He has a fastball that has touched the low-90s in the past, and a slider that he was developing the last two years, using it as a strikeout pitch. He turns 26 next month, so the fact that he hadn’t advanced beyond high-A didn’t fare well.

Jason Erickson - Erickson was drafted in the 24th round of the 2009 draft. He moved a level per year, pitching out of the Bradenton bullpen last year, and making a few starts. He had a 4.33 ERA in 70.2 innings, and turned 25 in February.

Brian Leach - Leach was a 25th round pick in the 2008 draft, and looked like a legit prospect heading in to the 2011 season. He was coming off a year where he posted a 3.85 ERA in 138 innings in the Bradenton rotation. The Pirates sent him to the AFL in 2010, and moved him to the Altoona bullpen in 2011, due to his fastball, which could get up to 96 MPH in relief. His control suddenly went south, with 15 walks in 15 innings in Altoona, and a 4.3 BB/9 ratio in 52 innings after a demotion to Bradenton. His control issues were still present this Spring.

Kevin Mort - Mort was an undrafted free agent, signed in June 2010. He spent time on the West Virginia bench last year, with a .234 average in 321 at-bats. He also pitched on several occasions, with a 4.32 ERA in 8.1 innings, along with a 6:3 K/BB ratio. He was only throwing mid-80s, and only pitched in blowouts, so he wasn’t really a candidate to convert to pitching.

Josh Rodriguez - The Pirates took Rodriguez with the first pick in the 2010 Rule 5 draft. He started the 2011 season in Pittsburgh, but after a few games was returned to Cleveland. The Pirates added him back in a trade for cash after he struggled with Cleveland. He spent most of his time in Altoona, with a .267 average and five homers in 225 at-bats. He never showed the power that made him an appealing Rule 5 choice, and led to a .486 slugging percentage in Triple-A in 2010.

Matt Skirving - A 30th round draft pick in 2010, Skirving spent the last two years in State College. He hit for a .277 average last year, and showed some decent defensive skills, although he was caught in the log jam of catchers in the lower levels. He was dealing with a hamstring injury this Spring.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 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.

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  • capirate

    I don’t remember the Pirates releasing so many minor leaguers in previous Spring Trainings. Perhaps it indicates that the overall quality is edging up some.

    • Kevin_Creagh

      Happens every spring, but this year is different because Tim is down there the whole time and has access to the information directly.  It would just trickle out here and there, but with an accredited media member you get it quickly and efficiently.

      I always like to think of this time of year like a volcano.  The new magma (recent draft/internationals) is constantly bubbling to the surface and displaces the crusty lava that has already dried (peaked out in the system).

  • http://twitter.com/jlease717 John Lease

    What an absolute waste of a Rule V pick was Josh Rodriguez.  Which was what I thought when they got him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    Are these players “released” as in out of the organization, or just released from camp and now to be assigned to a minor league affiliate?

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Out of the organization.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699375829 Tim W. McCann

    Wow. Kinda surprised about Tyler Cox. A decent lefty.

  • http://twitter.com/scott_klima Scott Klima

    Thank goodness Josh Rodriguez is gone.  Watching him try to play defense a few days ago was painful.