BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA/AP) – The Pittsburgh Pirates made more roster moves Monday by releasing infielder Garrett Atkins and sending pitchers Justin Thomas and Fernando Nieve to the minors.

In December, the Pirates signed Atkins to a minor league contract and if he made the Major League roster, he would have made $800k.

Atkins has played eight seasons in the majors with his first seven with the Colorado Rockies. Last season, he played with the Baltimore Orioles before being released in July.

This spring training Atikins was hitting just .129 in 31 at-bats with four hits and one home run.

Thomas has pitched in 4 1-3 innings of relief this spring. He’s allowed eight hits, six runs and struck out one while compiling a 2.08 ERA. Last season, Thomas pitched 13 innings with a 6.23 ERA and allowed 21 runs.

Last season, Nieve was playing for the New York Mets. The Pirates signed him in the offseason to a minor league contract.

In spring training, Nieve was 1-1 with a 9.82 ERA. He pitched just 7 1/3 innings and allowed 17 hits and eight earned runs.


Pittsburgh Pirates
Fernando Nieve
Justin Thomas

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