The Bucs made their first major roster trim of the spring today, sending ten guys back to minor league camps.
SS Chase D'Arnaud plus LHPs Rudy Owens and Jeff Locke were optioned to Indy. RHP Duke Welker was sent to Altoona. RHPs Mike Crotta and Logan Kensing, OF Robbie Grossman,Cs Tony Sanchez and Ramon Cabrera along with IF Anderson Hernandez
were reassigned to minor league camp, joining RHP Gerrit Cole, who had been sent there earlier in the week. They'll be assigned to their minor league clubs later.
No surprises in the group, except perhaps that d'Arnaud got his ticket punched a bit early, but he was slated for Indy this year. He showed too many holes last season in his brief stay, both at the dish (.217/.242/.287 in 48 games) and in the field UZR/150 of -35.6 in 206-2/3 innings, a very small sample) The FO recognized that D'Arnaud needed playing time, not pine time.
The Pirate posse is still pretty beefy at 48 players, and 13 are non-roster invitees. A handful of those guys - RHP Juan Cruz, LHP Doug Slaten, UT Jake Fox, C Jose Morales, and 1B Nick Evans - have a shot at making the team, and would require a space on the 40-man roster if they did.
The most interesting spring battles should be the time share among Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez, the middle infield reserve spot between Josh Harrison and
Yamaico Navarro, and the bullpen.