3/27/2014 4:45 P.M. ET
Bucs option Cumpton; Liriano likely OK for opener
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
BRADENTON, Fla. -- What sets up as a hectic final four days leading up to Monday's season opener got off to an early start Thursday, as the Pirates announced a pair of moves.
Right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who wrapped up a stellar spring on Wednesday with five shutout innings against the Twins, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. With that move, the Bucs still have 30 players in camp, five above the regular-season limit that must be set by 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The move implies that Francisco Liriano has been given the green light to make his scheduled Opening Day start. Cumpton had been an option to help out the rotation if Liriano wasn't recovered from a tight left groin muscle.
The Pirates also announced a Minor League deal, acquiring outfielder Keon Broxton from Arizona for a player to be named. Broxton, a 23-year-old right-handed hitter, will begin the season with Double-A Altoona.
Cumpton, who is ranked as the Pirates' 12th-best prospect, allowed one earned run over his final 13 2/3 innings in the Grapefruit League and posted an overall ERA of 2.21 in 20 1/3 innings -- the heaviest workload of any pitcher in camp.
Broxton, who is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, was the D-backs' third-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He's a .244 hitter in five Minor League seasons, and has yet to play above the Double-A level.
• Jameson Taillon will get the second opinion on his sore right elbow on Monday from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation on Jeff Karstens' shoulder last June.
• Following Thursday's Grapefruit League game, non-roster catcher Nevin Ashley and right-hander Kyle McPherson (recovering from Tommy John surgery) were reassigned to Minor League camp. That left 28 players on the travel squad heading to Philadelphia.
• Brandon Mann, the 29-year-old lefty, added another scoreless inning on Thursday to his resume, winding up with an ERA of 1.59 for seven appearances.
• Stolmy Pimentel walked Mark Teixeira with one out in the third -- his first, and as it turned out his only, walk of the spring in 11 innings.
• Pedro Alvarez sat out the last two Florida games. "Just working on some things," manager Clint Hurdle said.
First number, last word
91,046: Final spring attendance at McKechnie Field, in 12 dates, barely missing the club record of 93,433 set last year in 15 dates.
"We've cut all the meat we can off this bone in Bradenton. We'll throw the bones in the street behind the bus on the way out. Everything we had marked down to get done, we got done." -- Hurdle, calling Spring Training 2014 a success.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.