Cuban defector Herrera among Pirates' first cuts

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BRADENTON, Fla. - Cuban defector Yoslan Herrera was among eight players the Pirates reassigned this morning to minor-league camp, trimming their spring training roster to 61.

Herrera, a pitcher signed to a three-year contract this off-season after two years of inactivity, allowed four earned runs in one-plus inning this spring. He was assigned to the Class AA Altoona roster.

The other cuts were pitchers Bryan Bullington, John Van Benschoten, Brad Lincoln, Michael Tejera and Kip Bouknight, and catchers Steve Lerud and David Parrish. Bullington and Van Benschoten, each working his way back from arm surgeries, were assigned to the Class AAA Indianapolis roster.

Bullington, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, was a pleasant surprise in camp, turning in a perfect inning in each of his two outings, with three total strikeouts. This was despite not having pitched since September 2005 because of shoulder surgery.

Lincoln, the team's top pick last summer, resumed a throwing program Sunday after an ailing elbow shut him down at the beginning of spring training.

Also today, pitcher Serguey Linares finally reported to camp. Linares, another Cuban defector, missed the first two weeks because of visa delays in the Dominican Republic.

And it was confirmed that outfielder Jason Bay will play in his first spring game tomorrow. He will be the designated hitter against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla.


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