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Pirates reassign four players to Indianapolis

TAMPA – The Pirates today reassigned four players to minor league camp, moves that all that clinch a roster spot for utility player Steve Pearce.

Corner infielder Andy Marte, catcher Dusty Brown, utilityman Corey Wimberly and pitcher Brian Burres were sent out this morning. All likely will begin the season with Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates have 32 players left in big league camp.

Marte's departure means Pearce will be the backup corner infielder on Opening Day. Pearce also can play the corner outfield spots, an indication that outfielder John Bowker might not make the team.

Bowker's status could hinge on the health of starting catcher Chris Snyder, who was scratched from the lineup today against the New York Yankees due to lower back pain. Snyder has battled back problems the past couple of weeks – he missed 14 games -- and his status for Opening Day might be in doubt.

β€œIt could have an impact on our catching situation,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

If Snyder remains iffy, the Pirates might opt to break camp with three catchers, including backups Ryan Doumit and Jason Jaramillo. That would leave no room on the bench for Bowker, who is out of minor league options. Bowker could make the team, though, if Snyder goes on the disabled list.

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