PITTSBURGH (93-7 the Fan) – When I approached Pirates left handed pitching prospect Steven Brault Monday morning to talk about his musical career (and he does sort of have one), I mentioned that it was my last day at McKechnie Field. He replied, “It’s probably my last day, too,” as we chuckled about his inevitable cross-town trip back to Pirate City and the minor league camp.
No sooner had we begun the interview when one of the coaches interrupted, “Sorry, but I need to borrow Steve for a few minutes.”READ MORE: Police: Central Catholic High School No Longer At Risk For Threat After Arrest Made Following Social Media Comments
Sure enough, Brault was soon back at his locker packing his equipment bag.
The thing about early baseball “cuts” is that the most promising starting pitchers are always the first to go. Brault was joined by the two closest to the majors – Tyler Glasnow and Jamison Taillon – along with Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams because those five need innings.
With the projected starters – plus Juan Nicasio – now built up to four innings and the five other relievers who will make the Pittsburgh bullpen will soon be throwing every other game, there simply are not enough Grapefruit League innings to go around.
General Manager Neal Huntington knows while the prospects can’t help but be disappointed, they also understand the process and that they all fit into the Pirates’ future plans.
Huntington’s next dilemma is figuring out who (besides Glasnow and Taillon) stay in Triple-A Indianapolis and who goes to Altoona.
“All of them deserve to be Triple-A, all of them have the ability and equipment to compete and potentially excel in Triple-A,” says Huntington.READ MORE: Funeral Arrangements Made For Pittsburgh Police Sergeant Richard Howe
Huntington plans to place a more experienced starter or two (Kyle Lobstein, Wilfredo Boscan) in case a need arises early in season.
“We’re not ready to say they couldn’t help us in April,” Huntington says. “We have to see how things play out in April, but we’re really excited about where (those five pitchers) can go and where they can be.”
Highly touted catcher Reese McGuire, who just turned 21, was re-assigned the minor league camp for basically the same reason. LHP Kelvin Marte was also re-assigned, while outfielder Harold Ramirez, who opened eyes in camp, has joined the Panamanian national team for a WBC qualifying tournament.
Listen to the full interview here:
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