The 2013 Minor League Spring Training schedule began today with a multitude of moves as the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned six players to Indianapolis and reassigned five to Minor League camp.
RHP Vic Black, RHP Stolmy Pimentel, INF Clint Robinson, OF Jerry Sands, RHP Hunter Strickland and RHP Duke Welker were all optioned from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.
Bringing power potential to Indianapolis are Robinson and Sands, who were acquired by the Pirates in trades with Kansas City and Boston respectively during the offseason. Sands belted 26 homers for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2012, while Robinson has hit at least 13 home runs in each season of his five-year professional career, including a career-high 29 with Northwest Arkansas in 2010.
The four pitchers optioned by the Pirates earlier today include two young right handers acquired in separate deals with Boston (Pimentel – 2012, Strickland – 2009), as well as two highly regarded relief prospects who were drafted by the Pirates (Black — 2009 1st round supplemental, Welker — 2007 2nd round).
In addition to the six players optioned to Indianapolis, RHP Erik Cordier, OF Darren Ford, INF Matt Hague, INF Anderson Hernandez and RHP Jameson Taillon were all reassigned to Minor League camp.
This list is highlighted by right handed starter Jameson Taillon, who was recently rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Pirates system and No. 19 in all of Minor League baseball by Baseball America.
Also being reassigned were two former Indians in Hague, who was named the Indians MVP in 2011 after leading the International League with 165 hits, and Hernandez, who earned Indianapolis Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012 after posting a .971 fielding percentage across five different positions.
Finally, both Cordier and Ford bring a veteran presence to Minor League Camp as Cordier has pitched in 122 Minor League contests during his seven seasons of professional baseball, and Ford has stolen 332 bases during his eight seasons in the minors.
All 11 players that were optioned or reassigned to Minor League camp could see time with Indianapolis at some point in 2013.