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Pirates Blake Cederlind, Socrates Brito test positive for COVID-19

Jason Mackey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Baseball

Cederlind, 24, was a fifth-round pick in 2016. After pitching to a 7.59 ERA over his final 17 appearances in 2018, the Turlock, California, native picked up a sinker, turning the lack of spin on his fastball into an advantage.

That led to a quick ascent through the minors in 2019. After seven games with High-A Bradenton, where Cederlind had a 1.17 ERA, he went 5-1 with Class AA Altoona, producing an ERA of 1.77 with 42 strikeouts and just 16 walks in 45 2/3 innings.

This spring, Cederlind stood out by lighting up the radar gun while his blonde locks flapped in the wind. His strut after strikeouts was hilarious. The same for when he had some spike issues and fell down after delivering a pitch.

In five spring outings, Cederlind had nine strikeouts, did not allow a hit and walked four.

Brito is a different story, a quieter one. Among the five outfielders the Pirates have in Pittsburgh, he's very clearly No. 5 and was expected to begin the season with Class AAA Indianapolis.

Although the 27-year-old is a .179 lifetime hitter at this level, he's still an interesting name. For one, the left-handed hitter slashed .282/.328/.510 in 428 plate appearances with Class AAA Buffalo in the Blue Jays' system last summer and was at .318/.383/.540 the year before that (Class AAA Reno, Diamondbacks).

 

Brito has typically fared well against minor league pitching but never has been able to translate those results to the big leagues, with the Azua, Dominican Republic, native striking out in 56 of his 207 at-bats.

Still, Brito has a solid hard contact rate (31.6%) and a low BABIP (.218 in 218 plate appearances), meaning it could also be a bunch of really bad luck.

(c)2020 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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