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Williams sharp as he battles for No. 5 spot

Impressive Bucs righty vying with top prospect Glasnow
March 29, 2017

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams continued to build his case to make the rotation Wednesday.Williams threw four innings of scoreless relief in an 8-2 loss against a Phillies split squad in the spring finale at LECOM Park. He allowed just two hits while striking out six."Along with the

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams continued to build his case to make the rotation Wednesday.
Williams threw four innings of scoreless relief in an 8-2 loss against a Phillies split squad in the spring finale at LECOM Park. He allowed just two hits while striking out six.
"Along with the changeup, I've been working on my curveball to have that four-pitch mix you need as a starter," Williams said. "For the last few outings, I've just been trying to compete and not really tinker with my stuff. It's been strictly business."

On Wednesday, the team optioned Andrew Hutchison to Indianapolis after doing the same for left-hander Steven Brault on Tuesday. That leaves Williams and Tyler Glasnow as the final options for the last rotation spot. Pirates general manager Neil Huntington said that decision will likely come after the team's final exhibition against the Blue Jays in Montreal on Saturday.
Hutchison optioned by Bucs after spring fade
"Obviously the battle of four is now down to two," Huntington said after the Hutchison announcement. "We've got a really good idea of how we want to go, but we'll let some things play out over the next couple of days, both in our guys' control and out of our guys' control."
Glasnow, the Bucs' No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was 1-0 with a 5.65 ERA in six appearances. His 23 strikeouts in just 14 1/3 innings were the most among Bucs pitchers this spring.
This spring, the 25-year-old Williams went 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.

"I've made it a thing this Spring Training to be as consistent as possible when I come in to do my work, whether it was going to be starting or coming out of the bullpen," Williams said.
Williams, who could also factor into the bullpen mix as the long reliever, is happy with whatever role he can play for Pittsburgh.
"I've had the mindset of a starter, but I know that that can be different from the next day or the next day," Williams said.
"We like the guy and his competitive edge," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "With the fact that he's been stretched out, he's pitched himself into a very competitive spot."

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com.