BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pirates optioned right-handed reliever Bryan Morris to Class AAA Indianapolis and reassigned infielders Ivan DeJesus Jr. and Jared Goedert to minor league camp this morning.
Morris, 25, had a 5.14 ERA in seven appearances this spring and had burned up his third and final option last season. But the Pirates applied, and were granted, a fourth option year for Morris, which allowed the club to send Morris to Indianapolis without fear of losing him to another team.
Morris made his major league debut last year, posting a 1.80 ERA in five appearances.
The Pirates acquired DeJesus Jr., once considered a top prospect, in a six-player trade that sent Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox this offseason. In 20 games this spring, DeJesus Jr., 25, hit .387 with one home run and two RBIs.
But the Pirates acquired veteran infielder John McDonald this week to backup shortstop Clint Barmes, making DeJesus Jr.’s path to the opening day roster a bit more difficult.
Goedert, 27, hit .214 in 19 spring training games.
With Chase d'Arnaud on the disabled list and Charlie Morton, Francisco Liriano and Jose Contreras recovering from injuries, the Pirates have 37 players in major league camp still in competition for the opening-day roster -- 17 pitchers and 20 position players.
Game: Pirates (10-14-1) vs. Rays (14-10)
Starting pitchers: Jeanmar Gomez (0-2, 8.00) vs. Alex Cobb (0-1, 2.33)
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Place: McKechnie Field, Bradenton
Weather: 68 degrees, mostly cloudy
1. Presley cf
2. Tabata lf
3. Pie rf
4. Sanchez 1b
5. McKenry c
6. Harrison 3b
7. Mercer 2b
8. McDonald ss
9. Gomez RHP
1. Jennings cf
2. Johnson lf
3. Zobrist ss
4. Joyce rf
5. Scott DH
6. Roberts 3b
7. Duncan 1b
8. Giminez C
9. Figueroa 2b
Brandon Inge was originally listed in the lineup. But he was not listed on the official lineup distributed to reporters. I saw him leave McKechnie Field at about 11 a.m. Awaiting word on what's going on.
As you can see, John McDonald is here. Arrived in Tampa last night and met his team today. He will wear No. 80 for spring training and probably switch to a lower number for the regular season.
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