Friday was the deadline for teams to set their 40-man roster for next month's Rule 5 Draft, and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports that the Pirates cleared up two spots for prospects by designating Robinzon Diaz and Justin Thomas for assignment. They also designated Jeff Karstens for assignment yesterday.
Diaz, a 26-year-old catcher, hit .279/.307/.357 in 138 plate appearances for Pittsburgh in 2009. Thomas, a 25-year-old lefty reliever, had a 4.48 ERA in 60.1 innings with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate.
Among the players the Pirates added to the 40-man roster were righthanders Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Lincoln was the 4th overall pick in the 2006 draft, while Morris was acquired in the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade, and Hernandez in last summer's Nate McLouth deal.