Pirates sign free agent RHP Lisalverto Bonilla

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla(pronounced leez-al-VERH-toe). The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.

The 26-year-old Bonilla spent the 2016 season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, where he went 5-7 with two saves, a 3.97 ERA (111.0ip/49er) and 118 strikeouts in 31 total appearances (13 starts) between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He began the 2016 campaign pitching in relief with Oklahoma City before joining Tulsa's starting rotation in late June. After making seven Double-A starts, Bonilla returned to the Triple-A level on August 2 and finished the season making six starts with Oklahoma City. Overall, he posted a 3.45 ERA(75.2ip/29er) and struck out 76 batters in his 13 starts.

Bonilla made his Major League debut in 2014 with Texas, where he went 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA(20.2ip/7er) in five games (three starts). He made his big league debut in relief on 9/4/14 vs. Seattle and finished the 2014 season going 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA (17.0ip/4er) in three starts with the Rangers, the first Texas pitcher ever to win each of his first three starting assignments.

Originally signed by Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Bonilla was selected to the All-Star Futures Game in 2012 and has taken home mid-season All-Star accolades three times during his career (2009 in the Dominican Summer League, 2011 in the South Atlantic League and 2012 in the Eastern League).

Since making his professional debut in 2009, Bonilla has produced a 32-27 record, 17 saves, a 3.33 ERA (540.0ip/200er) and 607 strikeouts in 201 appearances (56 starts). He has also recorded four complete games, two shutouts and a .237 batting average against in his minor league career.

To make room for Bonilla on the 40-man roster, the Pirates have designated left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke for assignment.