03/31/08 2:55 PM ET
Bucs sort out Minor League rosters
Organization signs righty Davis to fill out Triple-A rotation
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
The Pirates rounded out the starting rotation for their Triple-A Indianapolis club by signing right-hander Jason Davis to a Minor League contract over the weekend. Davis, who did not make the Rangers' Major League club out of Spring Training, will join Bryan Bullington, John Van Benschoten, Ty Taubenheim and Luis Munoz in the rotation. Bullington will be the Opening Day starter for the Triple-A squad.
Davis made 16 appearances for the Mariners last season, finishing with a 6.31 ERA. He has made 52 starts (130 total appearances) in the big leagues in his career, compiling a 20-22 record and a 4.78 ERA.
Jonah Bayliss and Josh Wilson, both of whom were designated for assignment and removed from the team's 40-man roster a week ago, each cleared waivers and will begin the season with Indianapolis as well. Wilson will likely share time at second with Luis Ordaz and Matt Kata, who was reacquired by the organization on Sunday.
Kata, who the Pirates lost to free agency when they made room on the 40-man roster for Kevin Thompson back in October, spent the last month vying for a spot with the Rockies. However, when he was not in the mix to make the club to start the season, Colorado sent Kata over to Pittsburgh for future considerations.
Kata played in 47 games with the Pirates last season, hitting .250 with 10 RBIs.
Bayliss will be one of six right-handed relievers on the Triple-A club, with Sean Burnett set to be the lone left-hander on the 12-member pitching staff.
As announced earlier in Spring Training, the Indianapolis club will be highlighted by the presence of four of the organization's top prospects. Outfielders Steve Pearce and Andrew McCutchen and infielders Neil Walker and Brian Bixler will all begin the season as Indians starters.
Concerning the Pirates' Double-A team, Yoslan Herrera and Jimmy Barthmaier will be at the front of Curve's rotation. The Altoona club will have top-10 organizational prospects Shelby Ford (third-round pick in 2006 First-Year Player Draft) and outfielder Brad Corley (second-round selection in 2005), along with first baseman Jason Delaney and outfielder James Boone to open the season as well.
The Pirates parted ways with Freedom, Pa., native Josh Sharpless at the close of Spring Training. General manager Neal Huntington had expressed disappointment in Sharpless' shape at the onset of camp, citing a lack of offseason conditioning for the reason Sharpless was cut from Major League camp so early. Sharpless spent five years in the organization before being handed his release.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.