by Al Melchior | Data Analyst (3/21/2011) The Pirates unconditionally released 1B Garrett Atkins on Monday. Atkins went 4 for 31 (.129) before his release this spring. "He came here to make the club and is a very honest self-evaluator," manager Clint Hurdle told MLB.com. "He saw people ahead of him and knew that there wouldn't be an opportunity for him at Triple-A. The window of opportunity was closing. He didn't want to take at-bats from the guys still wanting to make the club and wanting to get ready for the season. Good for him."