Pittsburgh Pirates Make Four Spring Training Roster Moves

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Opening day is now just 15 days away, and the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to trim down their roster as they look to get regulars more at-bats.

The great thing about spring training is that fans get to see many prospects play.  These prospects range from under the radar ones to many of the team’s top prospects that have been coveted for years.  However, with spring training about two weeks away from being complete, the Pittsburgh Pirates have started to ship out more and more of these prospects to minor league camps.  This is done because it is time to get the opening day players more time on the field in preparation of March 29th.

Well, according to Jerry Dipaola of triblive.com the Pittsburgh Pirates have made four more roster moves this morning.  The Bucs sent down top infield prospects Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer.  In addition to those two, the Pittsburgh Pirates also sent out a couple of pitchers from camp.  Right-handed pitchers Yeudy Garcia and Alex McRae were among the cuts from big league camp.

The Seinfeld Duo

The biggest name of the batch is Kevin Newman.  He of course was the Pittsburgh Pirates first round pick in 2015 out of the University of Arizona.  The minor league shortstop has been consistently ranked as the top middle infield prospect in the system.  His best season came in 2016 at the High-A level when he hit .366 in 41 games.  For his career, he has a slash line of .283/.340/.382 and is considered sound defensively. He appeared in 12 spring games, hitting .263/.318/.368. With Jordy Mercer entering his final season of team control, it is very likely that Newman will find his way up on the roster at some point this season.

Of course, sticking with the Seinfeld theme, the Bucs drafted Kevin Kramer in the second round of the 2015 draft.  As solid as a prospect that Newman is, Kramer might be the fastest rising one in the system.  He was long considered in the 20-30 range of ranked prospects, but after a breakout season in Double-A last year, he has found himself creeping into top 10 lists.  The lefty hit .297/.380/.500 with 17 doubles, three triples, and six home runs in 53 games a season ago.  He was elected to the Double-A all-star game, but had to miss the game due to a break in his hand.  He impressed just as much in his spring training opportunity, batting .313/.500/.875 with one home run, two doubles, and two triples in 16 plate appearances.  Kramer will likely head to Triple-A to form a double play combo with Newman.

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The Pitchers

McRae and Garcia will both head to Triple-A.  These two pitchers did not throw much in spring training.  Garcia threw a total of 3.1 innings and gave up one earned run via a home run.  He struck out two batters, but walked two hitters and hit one.  McRae also threw relatively well in his experience.  McRae saw more action than Garcia due to him starting a game.  He threw 7.1 innings and posted a 4.91 ERA while striking out seven and walking two.  Garcia will likely continue to transition to the bullpen in Triple-A while McRae will join the Tribe’s rotation.