As I wrote once before, I thought Atkins had a pretty good chance of making the team, given his relationship with Clint Hurdle and given reports like these. Even a few days ago, when Atkins was picking up some extra at-bats in minor-league games at Pirate City, Hurdle spent a lot of his time there giving Atkins pointers. But I suppose personal loyalty only goes so far when you can't hit anymore - and who knows, it might not have mattered much to begin with. Atkins hit only .129/.182/.290 in Spring Training, and this was on top of several seasons in which his hitting was pretty clearly in decline. Good for the Pirates for making the right decision, even if it was an obvious one. The Bucs released him, so he won't be playing at Indianapolis or anywhere else in the organization.
The cuts of Thomas and Nieve come as no surprise, and they'll both likely pitch in Indianapolis.