Former top Chicago Cubs prospect Donald Veal fell a bit off the top prospect wagon in 2008 – so much so that, when it was time to decide whom to protect in the Rule V draft, the Cubs decided to leave him exposed. Veal was quickly snatched up by the Pittsburgh Pirates – precisely the kind of team that will be able to stash Veal in the bullpen all season long (which is required in order to keep him for good).

Naturally, Veal has looked solid in Spring Training, and appears set to make the Pirates’ roster.

Lefty Donnie Veal still hasn’t been told he’s made the club, but it appears to be a fait accompli.

“He’s got a very good fastball and his changeup’s very good against right-handers,” Russell said. “Not too many guys have really centered him up, and that’s a really good sign.”

Management believes Veal, a Rule 5 pick, is closer to being major-league ready than Meek was at this time last year. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Veal has always been a good kid who has had a tough life, so I’ve got nothing but the best wishes for him. I just wish the Cubs had figured out a way to keep him. It is particularly tough to swallow given the three current openings on the Cubs 40-man roster.