3 intriguing pitching prospects among first Pirate cuts of Spring Training

Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day
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On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their first roster cuts of the spring sending three of their most intriguing pitching prospects to minor league camp

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Monday the first round of cuts from major league camp. Three top pitching prospects – Anthony Solometo, Thomas Harrington, and Bubba Chandler – and infielder Andres Alvarez transitioned to minor league camp, while Jackson Wolf was optioned to Double-A Altoona. Alvarez and Chandler did not see any game action, but Solometo, Harrington, and Wolf each took the mound during a Spring Training game.

Harrington and Solometo, who rank No. 6 and 4 in MLB.com’s latest list of Pirates prospects, tossed the seventh and eighth inning, respectively, of Pittsburgh’s February 29 matchup against Baltimore. While Paul Skenes’s spring debut garnered most of the buzz, Harrington and Solometo held their own and tossed scoreless innings.

Harrington faced the highest quality hitters, including two with Major League experience: Diego Castillo and Daniel Johnson. MLB.com’s Jim Callis noted that Harrington likely has the “highest floor” of the pitching prospects in Pirates camp, and that polish was on display as the right-hander struck out Errol Robinson on three swinging strikes. Harrington did walk the second batter he faced, but he effectively worked his way out of the inning.

Left-hander Solometo took the ball right after Harrington and worked a perfect eighth inning. He faced the lowest quality hitters, according to Baseball-Reference’s opponent quality index. The batters he faced – Collin Burns, Enrique Bradfield, and Carter Young – spent most of last season in High-A. Solometo baffled Bradfield, the No. 17 pick in last year’s Draft, who struck out looking on three straight strikes. Solometo will likely start the year at Double-A Altoona but is projected to quickly rise through the ranks alongside Skenes. Both could make a midseason Pittsburgh debut.

Wolf made his MLB debut with the Padres in 2023 but landed with Pittsburgh in the Ji-Man Choi, Rich Hill trade and spent the rest of the year with Altoona. With the Curve, Wolf found himself battling some struggles on the mound.

The lefty twirled a scoreless inning on March 1 against Tampa Bay. Wolf started the outing with five straight balls and then two pitches out of the zone that happened to get swings before settling in to strike out two in the eighth inning. Wolf missed a number of glove-side spots, which put him in trouble.

The biggest knock on Wolf as a prospect is his lack of velocity, which didn’t seem to improve in Spring Training. His four-seam fastball, which he used 11 times, maxed out at 89.8 mph. His slider, though, was fairly effective, resulting in whiffs on two of five pitches. Wolf, the No. 20 prospect in the organization, will start the year in Altoona and could be in play for back-of-the-rotation starts at some point if he adds muscle to his lanky frame.

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