The Pittsburgh Pirates made four roster cuts on Monday afternoon, getting the active Spring Training roster down to 48 players. The Pirates optioned right-handed pitcher Edgar Santana and outfielder Jared Oliva, while infielder/outfielder Kevin Kramer and right-handed pitcher Shea Spitzbarth were both reassigned to minor league camp.
Santana is the first surprise cut of the spring, and more so the timing of it than him not making the Opening Day roster. He was one of the players expected to compete for a final bullpen spot this spring, but Santana hasn’t pitched since 2018, so his previous success, a 3.31 ERA in 84.1 innings over the 2017-18 seasons, didn’t guarantee him a spot. He missed 2019 due to Tommy John surgery and 2020 due to a PED suspension. This spring he gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings over five appearances. If he regains his pre-injury form, then he will be back in the majors at some point early this season.
Spitzbarth was a minor league Rule 5 pick, who made four appearances this spring, allowing two runs over 3.2 innings.
Oliva got a brief taste of the majors last year, but he has yet to play in Triple-A. He batted .143 this spring over ten games and 21 at-bats, posting a .551 OPS.
Kramer went 2-for-20 with ten strikeouts. He had two singles and a hit-by-pitch, resulting in a .243 OPS.
There are now 33 players from the 40-man roster still in big league camp, plus 15 non-roster invites.