The Pirates have announced that they’ve optioned Steven Brault and Gift Ngoepe to Indianapolis, and that they’ve reassigned Josh Lindblom and Jason Rogers to the minors.
Lindblom and Rogers had no realistic chance of making the team, and Ngoepe’s chances were remote at best — basically, Clint Hurdle would have needed to decide he really, really wanted more shortstop defense.
The noteworthy cut here is Brault, who, it appears, has been eliminated from consideration for the fifth starter job. That leaves Drew Hutchison, Tyler Glasnow and Trevor Williams. Hutchison is the favorite of those three, probably a big one. Williams had a strong camp this year but seemed to be the lowest priority of the long list of Indianapolis starters last season. And Glasnow arguably still needs more time in the minors and has service-time issues to consider. In the Pirates’ minds, Brault might even have actually represented the most realistic challenge to Hutchison. He had a much better camp than Hutchison did, but whatever — it appears the Bucs continue to see something I don’t.