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Ramon Rodriguez

Pirates Release Four Minor League Pitchers

According to Baseball America, the Pittsburgh Pirates have released four minor league pitchers. Lefty pitcher Marcus Beltrez and right-handers Christian Santiago, Arquimedes Lorenzo and Ramon Rodriguez have all been released recently. All four were in Extended Spring Training.

Lorenzo was said to be raw, but with huge potential when he signed back in 2009, but a PED suspension side-tracked his career and he never fully recovered. He pitched the maximum four years in the Dominican Summer League and was transferred to the States for this Spring.

Christian Santiago got a late start to his career, making his debut when he was twenty-two. He has great size at 6’4″, 232 pounds, but in the GCL last year, the results were just average in relief. He was the only player among this group that pitched in the States.

Ramon Rodriguez is a bit of a surprise in this group, although none were really considered prospects. At 6’4″, 200 pounds, he had nice size and he just turned twenty-one during Spring Training. In 2013, he showed some real improvements, putting up a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts, well below the 5.10 mark he posted during the 2012 season. His strikeout total was low, but the pitchers down in the DSL are taught to pitch to contact to get quick outs.

Beltrez pitched well in the DSL in 2013, but he did it as a 20-year-old reliever, which usually isn’t a good sign. As a lefty, that tends to skew their stats too. Southpaws can usually put up good numbers in the low minors without great stuff, as long as they have command and Beltrez walked very few batters.

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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