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Eight Non-Roster Invitees to Join Pirates’ Spring Training

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Billy McKinney, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome eight players to spring training next month as non-roster invitees.

Among the players who received a non-roster invite is right-handed pitcher Hunter Stratton, who made his major league debut with the Pirates last season before he was non-tendered earlier in the winter.

Besides Stratton, there will be seven new faces in Pirates’ camp in Bradenton.

INF Sergio Alcántara

  • Career stats: .209/.281/.343, 14 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, 47 RBIs, four steals, 192 games

Alcántara has spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues between the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. He spent all of last season in Triple-A, where he hit .268 with a .776 OPS and 51 RBIs in 98 games.

OF Gilberto Celestino

  • Career stats: .222/.292/.300, 15 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 27 RBIs, four steals, 145 games

Celestino played 145 games (122 in 2022) with the Minnesota Twins between 2021-22. Last year in the minor leagues, he compiled a .771 OPS in 58 games and underwent thumb surgery which limited his playing time.

RHP Ben Heller

  • Career stats: 2-0, 3.06 ERA, 17er/50ip, 43 hits, 26 walks, 46 strikeouts, 50 appearances.

Heller’s big league career began in 2016 with the New York Yankees, but he’s bounced around from team-to-team and up and down MLB and the minor leagues. He made 19 appearances with the Atlanta Braves last season.

INF/OF Jake Lamb

  • Career stats: .235/.326/.427, 112 doubles, 22 triples, 96 home runs, 342 RBIs, 18 steals, 723 games

Lamb was an All-Star in 2016 but has only played sparingly since then. Last year in Seattle, he hit .216 with a .612 OPS and a pair of homers in 18 games.

OF Billy McKinney

  • Career stats: .209/.284/.390, 36 doubles, five triples, 34 home runs, 86 RBIs, four steals, 311 games

McKinney has played in the big leagues in six seasons for a combined six different teams. The Pirates acquired him from the Yankees earlier in the offseason.

LHP Michael Plassmeyer

  • Career stats: 0-2, 9.82 ERA, 12er/11ip, 17 hits, one walk, 11 strikeouts, three appearances/one start

Plassmeyer doesn’t have much experience as a major leaguer and has been knocked around when he’s gotten a chance. He had a 4.64 ERA in 19 appearances/17 starts in the minor leagues last season.

RHP Ryder Ryan

  • Career stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0er/1ip, one walk, two strikeouts, one appearance

Ryan made his first-career appearance with Seattle this past season but that’s all he has in the majors. He pitched fairly well (3.76 ERA in 48 appearances) in the minor leagues a season ago.

RHP Hunter Stratton

  • Career stats: 0-0, 2.25 ERA, 3er/12ip, nine hits, three walks, 10 strikeouts, eight appearances

As mentioned earlier, Stratton made his big league debut with the Pirates last season and generated good results on the mound. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 2016 draft.

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