Spring Training comes to an end in one week, setting the tone and molding the roster for Opening Day in Cincinnati.
As March 30 fastly approaches, the Pittsburgh Pirates will continue to shape the 26-man roster set to embark up north from the sunny skies of Bradenton, Florida.
On Sunday, the Pirates sent two young potential contributors out of camp, one who made his Major League debut in 2022 and the other Ben Cherington’s first draft pick as Pirates GM.
Outfielder Cal Mitchell and infielder Nick Gonzales were both optioned, Mitchell to Triple-A Indianapolis and Gonzales to minor league camp. 48 players remain in big league camp as seven spring games remain.
Mitchell totaled seven hits, scored five runs, and drove in three in 32 at-bats, slashing .219/.242/.250. The 24-year-old left-handed batter recorded 11 doubles, five home runs, 17 RBI while hitting .226 in 69 MLB games last season.
The 2020 seventh-overall selection, Gonzales is primed to make his big league debut in 2023. Health has been a factor in his overall production and limited his at-bats, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 91 while slashing .285/.384/.506 in 154 career games spanning two seasons. Gonzales made only 71 appearances last year in Double-A Altoona - playing three games between rookie and A ball on a rehab assignment - hitting .263 with 20 doubles, seven home runs, 33 RBI and 90 strikeouts. The Pirates' No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Gonzales totaled nine hits, one homer, and drove in two runs this spring, hitting .391 in 23 at-bats.
The Pirates previously sent top prospects Liover Peguero, Endy Rodriguez, and Mike Burrows back to minor league camp but could be seen again at PNC Park in the near future. Pittsburgh welcomes the Chicago White Sox to town on April 7 for the 2023 Home Opener beginning at 4:12 p.m.