Pirates Option Cal Mitchell; Nick Gonzales Gets Reassigned to Minor League Camp

The Pittsburgh Pirates made two more roster cuts after Sunday’s game. Outfielder Cal Mitchell was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Infielder Nick Gonzales has been reassigned to minor league camp.

Mitchell hit .226/.286/.349 in 69 games for the Pirates last year as a 23-year-old rookie. Due to below average defense, he finished with a -0.4 WAR. He was competing for a backup outfielder job this spring. He had a rough spring, hitting .219/.242/.250 in 33 plate appearances.

Gonzales should begin the 2023 season with Indianapolis, after spending last year in Altoona, where a heel injury cost him half of the season. He had a strong spring, putting up a .391/.440/.522 slash line over 25 plate appearances. He put up an .812 OPS in 71 games for Altoona last year, followed by an .851 OPS in 18 Arizona Fall League games.

The Spring Training roster now stands at 48 players. Opening Day is March 30th.

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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I kind of look at Mitchell a little higher than most. He has a nice swing and approach and I think he will evolve into a pretty good hitter. I don’t look at what a guy does in the majors in that few of at bats and write him off. You tell me he isn’t better than Connor Joe or some other chump they are going to go North with?

Everything about Suwinskis game absolutely blows- except he hit 19 home runs. But he was handed a spot.


Right now, the outfielders that have most earned a chance to go north are Swaggerty and Smith-Njigba.

Not Suwinski and not Mitchell.


Cal Mitchell is Ben Gamel. I was always hoping there was more there and he had some good numbers in AAA last season but I just don’t see it. I never had or saw Mitchell as even a top 30 prospect in the Pirates system. Or atleast in the last 3 years. Maybe alittle earlier on but I still had other OF’s ahead of him.

I just think there are better options. And nothing wrong with Ben Gamel as a MLB 4th OF and I’m not even trying to knock Mitchell. I would trade him though. Get whatever u can. A 24 year old LH OF should atleast be able to net you some bullpen help.


Mitchell was not able to transition his 2022 numbers in AAA to MLB or to ST 2023. At AAA last year he had a slash of 339/391/547/938 OPS. In 56 games on defense he had one assist and no errors.

Breaking his AAA play down further, he had 18 doubles, 2 triples, 9 HR in 236 AB with a good 17 BB/38 K, and he was 8 of 9 in SB. He needed to show more of that in ST, and BC signing both ‘Cutch and Joe did not help either. Adding a few RH hitters could balance the lineups

I think the Pirates are going North with OF’s Reynolds, Suwinski, ‘Cutch, and Swagg’s. Joe has put up enough to hang on as an OF/1B. Also on my 26, Rodolfo Castro and Ji-Hwan Bae will both make the trip North.


I don’t think you read my whole post?? I said, “I don’t see it w/ Mitchell, I was hoping there was more but not holding my breath”.

I’m never gonna route against a player, especially a young one, but I totally agree. I think there are much better options than Mitchell.

Imo, there is never gonna be enough power there to be a good MLB Corner OF. And his defense/arm is bad too. If you’re not getting 20 plus HR’s from your corner OF spots u need to get it from somewhere else. And it’s hard to find/get that power production from CF/2B/SS/C.

Last edited 2 months ago by pittsburghbob69

“In 56 games on defense he had one assist and no errors.”

This is not how you evaluate defense.


I’ll be lighting a candle for the health of both tomorrow!


‘Good to see’ Velasquez is pitching like just about every fan thought he would (Notwithstanding Connor Joe’s adventurous OF play).

Only the Pirate brain trust thought he was worth a MAJOR league contract.


Bet you said same thing last Spring about Quintana.


I did not. Quintana, had at least shown some success in the past. With Quintana there is at least the hope he can regain some past success.

VV has never had much success in the past.


I did and was happy to be wrong about Quintana but that still doesn’t give me pause in thinking VV is going to be a bust as a starter.


I wonder if Endy, Gonzales and Swaggerty will all be Super 2 Callups.

Castro, Bae & Mathias could conceivably be leapfrogged at 2B by Memorial Day

Swaggerty has earned starting CF job but lack of recent starts and one AB today suggest to me they will trot out hodgepodge of Joe, Mathias, CSN and that Suwinsky entered camp with a preordained spot


I think Swaggerty may be sitting lately because he is already earned a hat. Reynolds has been in left mostly and I think that is where he will stay. Swaggerty is the only real alternative in Center and he has earned it.

Wilbur Miller

I think Swaggerty may be sitting lately because he is already earned a hat.

Funny, that occurred to me. Hope it’s true. Joe apparently had a costly misplay against the O’s. I’ve never been big on prioritizing defense in the OF, but holy crap they need Swags’ glove.


I doubt TSwag is considered that highly for the Bucs to be worried about Supe 2. Plus he will be over 30 when he hits free agency. Gonzo still needs to show that his K percentage will not be over 30%. Endy is probably the only one.


Every player is a super 2 concern for Nutting. For him it isn’t about the extra control it’s about the 4th arbitration year. Arb salaries compound, essentially, so it is real extra money no matter how good the player is.


I agree but I also think having them here during their peak years is also part of the equation. I think younger prospects are more likely to be super-2 concerns than older ones.


Agree on all points.

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