Pirates News - Spring Training Notebook: Falter impresses, Ashcraft sent down, and more

Bailey Falter impressed in his latest spring training start, the Pittsburgh Pirates make some roster cuts and more in today's spring training notebook.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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Notes from Bradenton

A few notables Pirates related items from over the weekend and on Monday:

Starting on Sunday, the Pirates optioned catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, right hander Ben Heller, and left hander Micahel Plassmeyer to minor league camp. Each player was a non-roster invitee this spring.

Then on Monday, the Pirates also optioned pitcher Braxton Ashcraft to minor league camp. Ashcraft is the Pirates No. 7 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline and could make his MLB debut this season. The lengthy right hander notably was Rule 5 eligible this past offseason but was added to the 40-man roster, allowing the Pirates to keep him within the organization.

For Ashcraft, staying healthy will be a major key to success in 2014. Through his four seasons, Ashcraft has only pitched in 45 career games and has never pitched more than 53.0 innings in a season.

On the injury side of things, David Bednar continues to progress back from his right lat tightness and is playing catch according to Manager Derek Shelton, MLB.com's Alex Stumpf recently reported. If all continues to progress well for Bednar could very well return in time for opening day.