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Pirates cut nine players

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have cut nine players from major league camp. They optioned catcher Elias Diaz and infielder Max Moroff to AAA. Re-assigned to minor league camp were first baseman/outfielder Joey Terdoslavich, infielder Eric Wood, outfielder Eury Perez, right-handers Edgar Santana, Brandon Cumpton, and Jason Stoffel, and left-hander Dan Runzler. In addition, general manager Neil Huntington acknowledged that third baseman Jung-Ho Kang will miss the start of the season, although Huntington also stated on the radio that the team is still hoping to get Kang back sooner rather than later.

Of the players cut, the closest thing to a surprise would be Diaz or Santana. Diaz figured all along to be the team’s #3 catcher so with nearly two weeks left it seems a little early. Of course, he may still catch games at Pirate City where, for instance, Gerrit Cole is slated to pitch tomorrow. Santana has pitched well this spring. With Jared Hughes having a terrible spring, you’d think Santana would have gotten a longer look, but Hughes’ permanent presence in the Pirates’ bullpen appears to be the single biggest lock on the team for the next forty years or so.

Of the others, Moroff struggled in the exhibitions, going 3-for-26. Stoffel, a minor league free agent signing, has been out all spring with right shoulder discomfort. Perez got extended playing time — nearly as much as Austin Meadows, bizarrely — with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the WBC. Terdoslavich also got a good deal of time, despite coming off a weak season in AA. Cumpton continues to rehab from elbow and shoulder surgeries. Wood saw a lot of action between the Pirates and Team Canada. Runzler is a hard-throwing, former major leaguer trying to recover from control issues. He pitched respectably in limited chances.