The Pittsburgh Pirates are now that much closer to the 25 men that will take the field Opening Day with their most recent cuts.
Thursday morning, the team optioned RHP Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Cumpton appeared in six games this spring for the Pirates and was 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA. Last year, he spent most of his season with Triple-A Indianapolis. However, he did appear in six games for the Pirates (five starts) and was 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA.
Despite the strong spring from Cumpton, the Pirates are committed to Edinson Volquez and his $5 million salary for the final spot in their rotation. That’s despite Volquez getting shelled this spring, going 0-3 with a 9.64 ERA in 14 innings pitched. Volquez allowed 19 hits and walked seven batters in that time, striking out only 12.
The demotion of Cumpton also says a lot about the health of Opening Day starter Francisco Liriano as he appears to be good to go to make his scheduled start on Monday.
Liriano threw 55 pitches in a simulated game. Afterwards, he and the team sounded optimistic about his prospects for making his start against the Cubs on Monday.
However, don’t forget Cumpton’s name as he will certainly be heard from a couple of times this season.