Pirates invite another minor-league catcher

BRADENTON, Fla. -- On the eve of pitchers and catchers reporting, the Pirates announced they are inviting one more backstop to Bradenton.

Class AA catcher Arden Pabst is a late addition to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

This will be the second consecutive year Pabst earned an invitation to spring training. He was selected by the Pirates in the 12th round of the 2016 draft.

Pabst slashed .192/.232/.308 with four home runs and 18 RBIs over 270 plate appearances for the Curve in 2019. He fared much better in 2018, when he shot up through the farm system from A-ball and earned a brief cameo in triple-A.

Pabst will be one of seven catchers the Pirates are bringing to camp, and one of three from their farm system. The other Pirates minor-leaguers coming to Bradenton are Christian Kelley and Jason Delay. Jacob Stallings and Luke Maile are on the 40-man roster, and John Ryan Murphy and Andrew Susac are veterans who signed minor-league contracts.

The Pirates currently are inviting 22 players who are not on the roster to spring training, 12 of whom are pitchers, including recent free agent signings Robbie Erlin and Derek Holland. In total, the Pirates will have 34 pitchers in their major-league camp at the start of spring training.

Pitchers and catchers are reporting on Monday, Feb. 10, and the team's first workout will be on Feb. 12.

The position players will report by Sunday, Feb. 16, and the first full squad workout is Feb. 17. Their first spring game will be against the Twins on Saturday, Feb. 22.

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