Pirates cut four, Pearce makes team
The Pirates reassign Infielders Andy Marte and Corey Wimberly, Left-hand pitcher Brian Burres and Catcher Dusty Brown to minor league camp on Saturday morning.
Marte signed a minor league contract with the Pirates this offseason. Once a highly regarded prospect, he was ranked by Baseball America as one of the top 15 from 2004-2006.
Marte, 27, hit .229 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 170 at-bats with the Cleveland Indians in 2010.
This spring Marte batted .364 with six doubles, five RBI, five walks and six runs scored.
Wimberly was acquired by the Oakland Athletics’ in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly in late December.
Wimberly, 27, hit .284 with three home runs, 57 RBI in 135 games for the A’s Triple-A team in 2010. Wimberly stole 56 bases last season, 259 bags in 563 career games.
This spring he hit .212 with two RBI, six walks and stole four bases in 21 games.
Burres signed a minor league contract this offseason with the Pirates.
Burres went 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 starts (20 appearances) with the Pirates last season. In his final seven games, Burres had a 1.89 ERA.
This spring Burres had a nine scoreless inning streak. He allowed six runs on 15 hits over 14.0 innings with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Brown signed a minor league contract this offseason with the Pirates.
Brown, 28, spent the majority of the last three seasons catching with the Red Sox’s Triple-A team. During 2010, he batted .218 with 19 doubles and seven homers.
This spring Brown batted .321 with one double, four RBI in 28 at-bats.
Steve Pearce has won the backup corner infielder position according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune.
Pearce recently eliminated his leg kick from his swing in hopes it would help him earn him a bench spot. Looks like the adjustment payed off.
This spring Pearce batted .283 with five doubles and three RBI in 46 at-bats.
Pearce told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, “I’ve surprised myself a little bit, honestly. Going over to third after not having played for so long, it came naturally. In the outfield, I’m moving a lot better. I’ve felt good everywhere they’ve moved me. I think I have exceeded expectations.”
Although the Pirates have not yet made anything official, just one man stands in for the job. Garrett Atkins (released), Andy Marte and Josh Fields (reassigned to minor league camp) were battling for the backup corner infielder position.
Pearce also has the ability to play the corner outfield positions as well. This will mark the first time in his career he has made the opening day roster.
With Burres cut from camp, you would assume that Garrett Olson will be in the Pirates bullpen, he is the only lefty remaining.
That leaves Right-handers Chris Leroux and Mike Crotta fighting for the final spot in the ‘pen.
The Pirates still have not determined whether they will keep a third catcher this season. It all depends on the future of Ryan Doumit (will he be traded or will he be used just as a bench guy). Jason Jaramillo and John Bowker are final two competing for a bench spot.
The are 32 players left at camp.
*Photo credit: Derick Hingle