Infielder Chase d'Arnaud was among the ten players that the Pittsburgh Pirates cut today during the team's first major lineup paring down of spring training.
Pitchers Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens and Duke Welker were optioned while Mike Crotta and Logan Kensing were reassigned to the minor-league camp. Infielder Anderson Hernandez, catchers Tony Sanchez and Ramon Cabrera and outfielder Robbie Grossman were also sent down according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Although most of the moves aren't all that surprising, d'Arnaud and Hernandez were contenders for the open utility infielder spot. That means Josh Harrison, Jody Mercer and Yamaico Navarro are presumably semi-finalists for that job.
Navarro is hitting .333 through 18 at-bats and Mercer has three hits in 11 at-bats, but Harrison (who played 65 games in the majors last year) has been hitting at a .600 clip with four RBI and two steals in six games.
All three are among the 48 players still with the big league squad, but it's likely that job will come down to Harrison or Navarro.
Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared in nearly 50 games for the Pirates during the 2011 season, was batting .300 with two RBI this spring.