Also today, general manager Neal Huntington said the first cuts of the spring will come "early next week," with a larger wave a week later.
Huntington said, too, that Jimmy Barthmaier, owner of an 18.69 ERA, is off the list of rotation candidates. The field now remains eight, Huntington said, reiterating that only Paul Maholm is a lock, with Ian Snell and Zach Duke right behind, but adding Virgil Vasquez to a field that already included Ohlendorf, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen.
Barthmaier was a longshot even before his messy Spring Training performance, but I'd look for him to get at least a few starts this year anyway. He pitched well in the high minors in 2008 and has been good in every professional season except 2007, when an awful performance at Class AA Corpus Christi got him booted from the Astros' roster. The Pirates' rotation this year will probably be a lot like your Netflix account--there are a ton of choices, and being promiscuous with them doesn't carry much of a penalty. A few strong starts at Indianapolis, and Barthmaier will move right back to the top of the queue.