After making their first six cuts of the spring on Monday morning, the Pittsburgh Pirates made five more cuts on Monday evening
After Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have made a series of new cuts to trim their roster as Opening Day nears. Will Craig has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, Oneil Cruz to Double-A Altoona and Jason Delay, Arden Pabst and Blake Weiman have all been reassigned to minor league camp. (The Pirates corrected their original announcement regarding Cruz heading to Indianapolis).
Cruz and Craig are the headliners here as they are ranked 3rd and 19th respectively on MLB Pipeline’s Pirates Top 30 Prospects list. Cruz is ranked the #64 prospect in baseball and Craig was the Bucs’ first round draft pick in 2016.
Neither Cruz nor Craig hit for much average this spring, but each player still flashed strong power and tools that indicate that both will hold roles on the big league roster likely sooner rather than later.
Cruz heads back to Altoona where he ended his 2019 campaign. He slashed .269/.346/.412 in his first taste at Double-A ball in 35 games last year.
Craig will begin his second-straight season in Indianapolis for 2020 but will likely spend some time on the Pirates’ Major League roster at some point(s) in 2020. Look for Craig to transition to more of a utility role in 2020, as he will likely get time at first base, third base, and the corner outfield spots for Indy.
Delay and Pabst are both catchers in the Pirates minor league system. Delay, a fourth round pick in 2017 owns a career .654 OPS in the minors. Pabst, a 12th round pick the year before, had a .540 OPS last year at Double-A.
Wieman is a left-handed reliever and has a career 2.88 minors ERA with a high strikeout rate and good control. He should turn into a quality Major League reliever one day, with that day being sooner rather than later.
The Pirates roster now stands at 48 players. The team has until March 26th when they play the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day to get their roster trimmed down to 26 players.