By Jason Shetler
According to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the Pirates have signed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla to a minor league deal. Jeff Locke was designated for assignment to make room for Bonilla on the 40-man roster.
Bonilla signed with the Philadelphia Phillies out of the Dominican Republic back in 2008. He represented the Phillies at the 2012 Futures Game.
In December of 2012, Bonilla was traded to the Texas Rangers in a deal for former All-Star infielder Michael Young. The Rangers called up Bonilla as a September call up in 2014. He posted a 3.05 ERA along with a 1.21 WHIP in five games, three of which were starts.
Bonilla missed the entire 2015 season due to an elbow injury. Last offseason, he was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bonilla began 2016 with AA Tulsa where he had an ERA of 3.38 along with a 2.91 Fielding Independent Pitching and a 9.4 K/9 in seven starts. On August 1st, he joined AAA Oklahoma City, posting a 4.28 ERA, a 3.42 FIP and a K/9 of 9.7 in 24 games (six starts). The AAA numbers actually aren’t bad considering he was pitching in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Pirates GM Neal Huntington has said that Bonilla will compete for a rotation or bullpen spot in Spring Training.