BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Monday morning that they have made their first cuts of Spring Training. Clay Holmes and Nick Kingham have been optioned to Indianapolis, while Tyler Eppler, Cody Dickson, Jin-De Jhang and Kevin Newman have been reassigned to minor league camp. That leaves 56 players still in Major League camp.

None of these players had any chance to make the Opening Day roster going into Spring Training, so there are no surprises among the first cuts. With starting pitchers continuing to get stretched out at this point, players like Kingham, Holmes and Eppler will go to minor league camp and continue to get ready for the season. The Pirates have eight other starters on the Major League side doing the same thing, so eventually they needed to move the guys who weren’t competing for an Opening Day job, so everyone can get their innings.

When this many pitchers move, a catcher usually goes with them and Jhang will likely catch most of these pitchers at some point this season. Newman got a taste of his first big league camp and hit .389/.421/.389 in 18 at-bats over 11 games. The games on the minor league side begin on Wednesday, so he will get a chance to get his at-bats in to get ready for the regular season. The same could be said about Jhang, who had just seven plate appearances so far.

Tim Williams will have updates later this morning from LECOM with interviews from the players who were cut.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. On that Fangraphs Top 100 (just out), the guy I wanted INSTEAD of Will Craig is listed at #33. Will Craig is nowhere near the Top 100

    33. Delvin Perez, SS, Cardinals (making it even worse)

    Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
    20/55 40/50 20/40 70/70 45/60 60/60

    A positive PED test tanked Perez’s draft stock just ahead of selection day, and he fell to the back of the first round, but all the physical characteristics of stardom are here. Perez easily runs and throws well enough for shortstop and has very promising defensive footwork and athleticism. He also has plus bat speed, though his feel to hit is raw.

    • Looking at how the Double-A and Triple-A rosters will be structured, we believe that it will be either Holmes or Eppler starting in Indy. With Holmes on the 40-man roster and with more upside, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is him.

    • Funny you say that, cause when I went to ST in 2015, I watched Kingham get picked up by his mom after his start.

    • I was on a couple of championship softball teams (not that I had anything to do with their success, of course), but I remember during all day tournaments, both of our coaches fed us lots of fruit, including oranges.

      It kept us fresher, I felt. The teams that ate pizza seemed to wilt in the heat.

  2. I’ve only seen Newman in person once, so this is just an inquiry. Does he have a realistic chance of being anything more than a singles hitter. Nothing wrong with a singles hitter if they hit .310 or so, I just don’t get the considerable hype. Believe me I hope I’m off base with him & hope there is more to meet the eye.

        • There is some pop in his bat. He won’t hit homers, but since he uses the entire field, you’ll get doubles down the line and in the gaps, some turning into triples if he uses the notch well

        • A .320 hitter between Hi A and AA and a .980 fielder at SS. His 21 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HR are not power-impressive, but his 43 Walks/36 K’s is better than Mercer’s 51W/83K and much, much better than Harrison’s 18W/76K.

          With Alen Hanson and Kevin Newman right at the doorstep, it makes no sense whatsoever to hang onto Josh Harrison and the $18 mil he is scheduled to make in 2017/2018. If JHay is traded, the path is open to some of these young prospects to start at 2B/Utility and that $18 mil could go a long way for the Pirates this year and next. This will test how good NH is at climbing out of that hole.

          • Believe me I would love for Harrison to be traded, I hated that extension from the get go. I would love to see Frazier get a shot at 2nd.

            • I would love to see Harrison play the way he did to win his contract. The year before his contract started he was pretty good.

              • Actually he was out of this world for 3 months & so/so the rest. His approach of being 5′ nothing & standing 4′ off the plate then diving into everything only works against mistake pitches. Pitchers should never throw him a strike, they don’t need to get him out.

      • Not to mention, as a good base stealer, some of those singles will turn into doubles, effectively.

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