BRADENTON FL - FEBRUARY 20: Pitcher Jeff Locke #61 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 20 2011 in Bradenton Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Pirates have sent ten players to the minors: Andrew Lambo, Chase D'Arnaud and Brian Friday have all been sent to minor-league camp, and all three will presumably be at Indianapolis. Tony Watson, Danny Moskos, Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley have all been sent to Indianapolis. Aaron Thompson, Ramon Aguero and Jeff Locke head to Altoona.
None of these players were expected to make the major-league team - Watson, Moskos and Thompson might theoretically have been competing for a lefty bullpen role before the acquisition of Joe Beimel, but not anymore. The only noteworthy assignment here is Locke to Altoona. Locke was brilliant down the stretch for the Curve last year, but he only had 57 innings at Class AA, so the Pirates might have thought it was best not to rush him, especially given the crowded rotation picture at Indianapolis. Jenifer Langosch does note that despite being assigned to Altoona, however, it's still possible that Locke could begin the year at AAA. She also reports that it's unclear whether Watson will start or relieve this year.