Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pirates have invited pitchers Gerrit Cole and Mike Crotta, catchers Tony Sanchez, Ramon Cabrera and Eric Fryer, and outfielder Robbie Grossman to major-league Spring Training.â†µ
None of these invites come as huge surprises, and none are likely to make the team out of Spring Training. Cole was the top overall pick in the draft last year, and it's not uncommon for teams to invite the previous year's first-round draft pick to Spring Training. Cole hasn't even played in the minors yet, and the Pirates are very conservative in developing their draft picks, so there's virtually no chance he'll make the team.â†µ
Sanchez, Cabrera and Fryer are all prospects (or maybe "semi-prospect" is more appropriate in Fryer's case), and Fryer played a bit at the big-league level last year, but teams usually take lots of catchers to Spring Training in order to catch all the pitchers who are there. Crotta gets a Spring Training invite in part because he has a bit of big-league experience.â†µ
The only player who comes as a modest surprise is Grossman, who hit very well for Class A+ Bradenton last season and probably will be in Altoona this year.â†µ
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