Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pirates cut 11 players

Outfielder Jaff Decker was among 11 players cut by the Pirates on Tuesday morning. The roster is now at 31 with Opening Day a little less than a week away.
Decker was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis along with pitcher Jared Hughes and outfielder/first baseman Andrew Lambo.
Assigned to minor-league camp were pitchers Adam Wilk, Daniel Schlereth and Zack Thornton; infielders Robert Andino and Michael Martinez; outfielder Chris Dickerson; and catcher Omir Santos.
"We had some really hard decisions today. Today's hard," general manager Neal Huntington said this morning at McKechnie Field, where the Pirates are set to play the Toronto Blue Jays. "As we've gotten better, today's gotten harder. We've got any number of guys that don't deserve to get sent out of camp."
A notable cut was Lambo, an outfielder and the Pirates' Minor League Player of the Year in 2013 who was battling to make the team as a first baseman.
He hit .095 (4 for 42) this spring while trying to learn a new position.
"We talk all the time about not making emotional decisions based on spring training results, and that means good or bad," Huntington said. "But as we looked at a young player with some challenges remaining in front of him, we thought the best for him was to start the season in Indianapolis."
Lambo will continue to play first base with the Indians, Huntington said.
"We asked him to tackle a new position and try to compete to make the major league team at the same time. We threw a lot at him," Huntington said. "He handled a lot of it very well. Hopefully, again, with the ability to go to Triple-A, he'll take a deep breath, get comfortable at first base in a regular setting and get back to a level he's done well at, and let that confidence play."
The Pirates have three more games remaining in Florida, including today, and play two exhibition games in Philadelphia against the Phillies on March 28 and 29 before opening the regular season March 31 at home against the Chicago Cubs.
Huntington said the Pirates may take more than 25 players up north before making their final cuts in Philly.



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