Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates released minor league pitchers Jason Creasy and Justin Topa on Wednesday. Creasy was an eighth round draft pick in 2011, signing an over-slot deal ($250,000) out of high school. He was considered at top 50 prospect in the system at one point, but after a down year as a starter in Altoona in 2015, followed by a 2016 season that saw him miss most of the year with a forearm strain, his prospect stock took a hit. The 24-year-old right-hander had a low-90s fastball that touched 95 in the past. While he was returning from injury last year, he worked on a slurve instead of his normal curveball, to try to help him develop a strikeout pitch.
Creasy pitched five times for the Pirates this Spring Training. Used in a mop-up role, he threw a total of four innings. He was a victim of the numbers game between Altoona and Indianapolis. Both teams looked to be crowded and the only role available would have been a relief role in Altoona, which is a tough spot for someone with only one season left before minor league free agency.
The 26-year-old Topa had Tommy John surgery in 2015, which was the second TJ surgery of his career. That kept him out longer than normal and he was only able to put in 12.2 innings last year after missing the entire 2015 season. Before the surgery, he topped out at 95-96 MPH, but he had very little success as a pro, posting a 6.09 ERA at West Virginia in his first full season in 2014. He was looking at a possible bullpen role in Bradenton or Altoona this season. Topa was a 17th round draft pick in 2013.