Cole, five others cut by Pirates

The Pirates have made their next round of cuts; 49 players remain in big league camp. Another 24 men will need to be trimmed off the roster before Opening Day.

Top prospect Gerrit Cole was among today’s cuts. He posted a 3.60 ERA with seven strikeouts in 10 innings this spring. Cole didn’t sound too pleased about his demotion:

“I sort of knew [this was coming], but it’s pretty disappointing. I pitched really well. I tried not to give them a whole lot of opportunity to make this decision… I worked really hard this spring, and put together a lot of good outings, especially when I didn’t have my stuff… They didn’t really give me anything specific [to work on]. They give you the same old stuff: Just keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll tell us when you’re ready.”

The common explanation for Cole’s absence on the Opening Day roster was that the club did not want to use one of his years of service time. By waiting until June to call him up, the Bucs will get an extra year of Cole down the line. However, general manager Neal Huntington says that isn’t the case:

“Everybody is going to speculate why he is being sent out — and they’re wrong. He’s being sent out because in our minds he’s not ready to compete, to be successful at the Major League level, to be one of those top-of-the-rotation starters, our goal for him.”

It sure seems like Cole is ready to contribute at the MLB level, but that is not for the fans to decide.

The other five roster moves:

- RHP Phil Irwin – optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis

- RHP Kyle Waldrop – reassigned to minor league camp

- RHP Brooks Brown – reassigned to minor league camp

- LHP Kris Johnson – reassigned to minor league camp

- C Ali Solis – reassigned to minor league camp

None of the five had much of a shot to make the 25-man roster, although “Philthy Phil” Irwin is a player to watch in Indianapolis this season.

Two weeks until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

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