The Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned outfielder Gregory Polanco and right handed pitcher Duke Welker to Indianapolis. The Pirates now have 51 players remaining in camp.
Polanco isn't a surprise to be optioned, since he was expected to start the season in Triple-A. I'd imagine there might be some discussion whether he should have remained in Pittsburgh. I talked about the reasons why the team would send him down earlier this week. Expect Polanco in the majors in June or July, depending on his progression in Triple-A.
Welker also isn't a surprise, since the bullpen looks like it will be hard to make. He has one option remaining, meaning this is his final year where he can go back and forth between Triple-A and the majors. I'd expect him to be up at some point this year as depth. Welker is a guy who I like for a full time bullpen role in the future, and he could get that shot in 2015 if he does well in his expected time in the majors this year....
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.