The Bucs pared down their roster a bit more today, with Pedro Alvarez being sent to Lynchburg as the headliner. There’s a cautionary message from Neal Huntington about Pedro staying in shape, but Lynchburg was always the highest level that was said to be an option for him, so I think it’s safe to say that he did enough between mini-camp and spring training to atone for his supposedly lazy off-season. On a plus note, Lynchburg plays at Winston-Salem from May 12-14. I don’t see Alvarez getting promoted before then, so you can bet I’ll be there at least one of those nights.
None of the other demotions are terribly surprising. Steve Lerud is going to AA with Jeff Sues and Ronald Uviedo while Jimmy Barthmaier, Dan McCutchen, Shelby Ford, and Juan Mateo are all presumably ticketed for AA.
I also think it’s interesting that Jose Tabata wasn’t re-assigned today. There’s no chance he starts the year out in Pittsburgh and it’s not even a slam dunk that we see him in a big league uniform at all in 2009, but he’s had a nice spring with 8 hits (including 3 doubles) in 18 at-bats to go with five walks and five strikeouts. I know the club wants to see him in center and says they might start him out at AA to get him reps there, but he’s headed to a corner eventually and at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start the year out in Indy alongside McCutchen.