The Pirates announced that they’ve designated right-hander Alex McRae for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, whose previously reported one-year deal has now been formally announced.
McRae, 25, made his MLB debut with the Bucs in 2018, allowing four runs with five strikeouts and five walks in 6 1/3 innings of relief. The former 10th-round pick (2014) spent the bulk of the season in the rotation for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate, where he logged a 4.77 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. McRae’s sinker sat at 92.4 mph during his brief MLB audition, and he’s used the pitch to generate average or better ground-ball tendencies throughout his minor league career.
While he hasn’t found success in Triple-A or the Majors yet, McRae did post a 3.61 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9 and a 49.1 percent ground-ball rate in 149 2/3 innings with Pittsburgh’s Double-A affiliate in 2017.