The Pirates have cut four players, including 2009 top pick Tony Sanchez. Also cut were catcher Eric Fryer and pitchers Donnie Veal and Cesar Valdez. All four will head to the Pirates' minor-league camp.
As catchers, Sanchez and Fryer were mostly in camp in order to provide targets for pitchers during drills (although Sanchez, as a former first-round pick, might have been there anyway); neither were expected to make the team. Both will probably end up at Class AA Altoona.
Veal is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The only mild surprise in the first round of cuts was Valdez, and that’s mostly only due to the timing – there wasn’t much chance of him making the team. He did, however, pitch a bit in the majors last year with the Diamondbacks, and the Bucs just acquired him in the Zach Duke trade this offseason, so it’s a bit surprising that he didn’t get a longer look. He’s able to start, but due to the number of good pitching prospects at Indianapolis this season, he’ll probably be in the bullpen there.