Left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke has been designated for assignment, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Tuesday evening. In a corresponding move, the club has signed free agent right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla.
Locke appeared to have set the bar pretty high for himself as a 25-year-old in 2013. He put together a season that resonated in an All-Star bid with a 3.52 ERA over 30 starts. Prior to the All-Star Break, Locke compiled a gaudy 8-2 record to go along with a 2.10 ERA. There has been a serious regression since, and the Bucs decided to make a move in late August of last season.
Pittsburgh opted to bump Locke out of the starting rotation and instead preferred to thrust Ryan Vogelsong — as well as a plethora of rookies — into the mix. Despite the injury bug in September, the southpaw Locke threw the most innings of any Pirate starter (127.1) but the results were poor, ending with a 5.44 ERA.
Once a second-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2006, Locke was dealt to the Pirates three years later.
Bonilla, 26, signed as an international free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, and nabbed a bid to play in All-Stars Futures Game in 2012. That season, Philadelphia shipped Bonilla to the Texas Rangers. He made his debut two seasons later — a three-inning outing versus the Seattle Mariners.
In 2015, Bonilla was claimed off of waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He appeared in 24 games for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, Oklahoma City. He has racked up a 3-0 record complemented by a 3.05 ERA over his stretch in the majors.