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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Pirates Release Six Minor League Players; Agree to Deal with Austin Brice

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Wednesday morning that they have released six lower level minor league players. They are pitchers Arlinthon De Dios, Wander Romero and Alex Roth, and infielders Cory Wood, Francisco Quintero and Eliazer Montero.

The 22-year-old Romero was only able to pitch 26.1 innings since debuting in 2018 due to injury issues and the 2020 lost season, which affected everyone on this list. He had control issues as well, walking 21 batters in his short time. He played just part of 2021, spending time in the FCL, and had a 14.40 ERA in ten innings.

De Dios is 22 years old and he also debuted in 2018, though injuries haven’t been an issue here. He actually put up solid stats, but he was in the GCL in 2019 and repeated the level in 2021 in a lesser role, though the FCL is a more advanced level than the GCL due to the elimination of the two higher short-season levels. He had a 5.28 ERA as a rookie, then lowered it to sub 4.00 in each of his next two season, while striking out nearly one batter per inning. He was a starter during his first two seasons, then switched to relief in 2021.

Alex Roth was a 21st round pick in 2019, who missed part of the 2021 season, which limited him to a total of 43 innings since being drafted. He pitched 2021 in Bradenton and 2019 in Bristol, combining for a 3.77 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, 25 walks and 53 strikeouts. He turned 24 back in December.

Eliazer Montero put up solid stats as an 18-year-old infielder with the DSL Pirates in 2019, posting a .726 OPS in a pitcher-friendly league. He played second base and third base for the 2021 FCL Pirates and struggled with a .197 average and a .610 OPS in 26 games, while mostly playing second base and third base.

Francisco Quintero put up solid stats in both of his seasons in the system, but he was an older signing, who turned 21 back in September. He had matching .289 averages for the 2019 DSL Pirates and 2021 FCL Pirates, improving his OPS from .800 to .830 in his second season. Just like Montero, he mostly played third base and second base.

Wood was injured for most of 2021, getting in just four games in the FCL. The 24-year-old was a 19th round pick in 2019 out of college, who had a .667 OPS in 56 games with Morgantown in 2019.

In other news, Alex Stumpf is reporting that the Pirates have an agreement with right-handed pitcher Austin Brice

The 29-year-old Brice has appeared in the majors in each of the last six seasons, accumulating just under four years of service time while seeing time with three different teams. He has -0.7 WAR over that time, with a 5.17 ERA, a 5.15 FIP, a 1.31 WHIP and a 63:155 BB/SO ratio in 162 innings over 140 games. He had a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings over 13 appearances with the Boston Red Sox in 2021. Interesting side note here is that he is the only Major League player ever who was born in Hong Kong.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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