SARASOTA, Fla. – The 12 roster cuts that followed yesterday’s 7-6 loss to the Phillies included infield prospects Coby Mayo and César Prieto, who weren’t making the club and now can get more at-bats and reps over at Twin Lakes Park before likely assignments to Double-A Bowie.
Mayo went 2-for-14 with a 111.5 mph double, two RBIs, two walks and five strikeouts. Prieto was 3-for-11 with a double and three RBIs.
MLP Pipeline ranks Mayo as the organization’s No. 10 prospect and Prieto 18th. The top nine players remain in camp.
Also reassigned were first baseman Curtis Terry, outfielder Robert Neustrom, catcher Ramón Rodriguez and right-handers Wandisson Charles, Ofreidy Gómez, Morgan McSweeney Kade Strowd, Cole Uvila, Chris Vallimont and Ryan Watson. The official spring training count is down to 59 players.
“It’s time to just kind of starting reducing our camp size,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I’m going to try to bring those guys over as much as possible. We’ll have some innings at the end of games to continue to have them play in some of our games, but we just felt like it was important to reduce the camp size a little bit. Want to see those guys get a lot of reps.”
Shortstop Jackson Holliday, 19, remains on the major league side, contrasting assumptions that he’d be one of the first to leave based on his age.
Hyde wanted last year’s first overall draft selection to keeping working out with the club “a little bit longer” before his locker is emptied.
“He’s continuing to play at the end of spring training games at short,” Hyde said, “and we kept him.”
Outfielder Heston Kjerstad also avoided the cuts. He’s 8-for-15 with a triple, two home runs and six runs scored.
“I was just looking forward to watching him play. I had never seen him play,” Hyde said.
“What’s been remarkable is how hard he hits the baseball. Really impressive. This guy’s going to grow into a really good hitter, potential huge power guy. He’s looking to do damage at the plate, and he puts swings on the baseball like he’s trying to do damage. How strong he is, I just like the whole … I’ve been impressed.
“He’s one of the ones I’ve been really impressed with so far this spring.”
Kjerstad has worked out at first base, taking some ground balls, but isn’t leaving the outfield.
“I’m not sure if in games,” Hyde said. “As long as he’s with us here, probably not. I’ve got about nine first basemen.”
Kyle Bradish is making his third start tonight, the most on the club. Other listed pitchers include Cade Povich, Mychal Givens, Bryan Baker and Eduard Bazardo.
Pitchers Blaine Knight, Conner Leoprich, Clayton McGinness, Jensen Elliott and Phoenix Sanders, and infielders Gilbert Lara and Cadyn Grenier are extra from the minor league complex.