Kramer will get his chance
By John Mehno
For the Mirror
PITTSBURGH — The Pirates called up another wave of players from Class AAA Indianapolis, including infielder Kevin Kramer, their second-round pick in the 2015 draft.
Kramer was the only one of Tuesday’s recalls who has no previous major league experience.
The team also brought up pitchers Tanner Anderson, Michael Feliz and Clay Holmes, along with outfielder Jordan Luplow and catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
Lavranway, 30, has been in the major leagues with Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta and Oakland, posting a .201 average over 140 games.
The need for another catcher developed when it was determined Elias Diaz may miss most of the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
The Pirates plan to look at Kramer at second and third base over the final weeks. He batted .311 at Indianapolis with 15 home runs and 48 runs batted in, plus an OPS of .856.
He could be on the club next year as the Pirates are likely to part company with Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison, and are hunting power.
“I’m excited to be here and grateful for the opportunity,” Kramer said. “There are still things I need to work on, and I know that. That’s something I’ll look to do here and take into the offseason.”
Manager Clint Hurdle has been picking spots for the rookies coming up. He’s keeping expectations to himself.
“Where it goes, time will tell,” Hurdle said.
Indianapolis manager Brian Esposito has also joined the Pirates as an extra coach. Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles will be added this weekend.
Lefthanded reliever Buddy Boshers was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Boshers was claimed on waivers from Houston in August. He spent nine days with the Pirates without getting into a game.
Pitcher Jameson Taillon is the Pirates’ nominee for MLB’s Roberto Clemente award.
A player from every team is nominated and the winner is announced during the World Series.
The award recognizes a player’s community service. Willie Stargell won it in 1974, and Andrew McCutchen was the 2015 winner.
“It’s crazy, it’s 2018 and I’d venture to say the most popular Pirates jersey is the Clemente jersey,” Taillon said. “That was one of the first things I noticed when I came here, now important he was to city and still is.
“Wearing the Pirates uniform, I recognize the responsibility that comes with it. We see a quote from him (on the wall) every time we take the field. His presence is still felt down at Pirate City in spring training. You see quotes of his even on the little napkin holders there.
“If you didn’t know who Clemente was when you were coming into the organization, you sure as heck learn about him quickly.”
Taillon has been especially involved in cancer charities after missing time to have surgery and treatment for testicular cancer.
“I feel like it’s my responsibility to be a face for cancer survivors and people fighting it and going through it,” Taillon said. “I’m happy to do it.”
Today is Roberto Clemente Day throughout MLB. Pirates players, staffers, coaches and alumni will be paarticipating in several service projects throughout the area this morning.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org