Pirates Purchase Two Independent Ball Pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased the contract of two pitchers from the United Shore Professional Baseball League, getting Chris McDonald from the East Side Diamond Hoppers and Evan Piechota from the Utica Unicorns.

McDonald is a 6’6″, 220 pound, 21-year-old right-hander. He played ball at Hillsdale College, where he was also a strong hitter. McDonald apparently had a late growth spurt, going from 5’10” late in HS to his current height. He was used mainly in relief this season at Hillsdale, make 21 appearances, three as a starter. In 41 innings, he had a 4.39 ERA, with nine walks and 31 strikeouts. The ERA sounds high, but his team’s season ERA was 6.73, while opponents had a 7.21 mark, so he obviously played in a huge offensive environment, which explains why he’s pitching despite a .348/.446/.619 slash line. It’s possible the Pirates signed him for another position, though he was pitching in the USPL, so that’s likely his position.

Piechota is also a righty, standing 6’1″, 230 pounds. He is 22 years old. He went to Madonna University (honestly) where he had a 2.66 ERA in 13 starts, with 16 walks, 78 strikeouts and a .215 BAA in 91.1 innings. Those stats were basically a repeat of the 2.79 ERA, with 11 walks and 76 strikeouts in 87 innings that he had in 2015.

If you missed it from yesterday, the GCL Pirates had to use a player-coach for three innings, as well as having outfielders pitch an inning each of the last two days. These two pitchers could be headed there, or one/both might go to Morgantown, where they lost two pitchers recently to promotions.