Kramer stuck with Pittsburgh for less than a week and never made an appearance during his time with the big club. He was deemed an expendable luxury with the team bringing back Kyle Crick (triceps) from the 10-day injured list in a corresponding move.
Kramer was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday.
Kramer got his first taste of big-league action last season but failed to impress, going 5-for-37 at the plate. He's up to replace Kevin Newman, who landed on the injured list with a finger laceration, in a corresponding move.
He hit .207 with one homer and seven RBI this spring but had no true chance of making the Opening Day roster, barring injury. General manager Neal Huntington said that Kramer will move around the infield and possibly play in the outfield for Indianapolis. Kramer slashed .311/.365/.492 at Triple-A in 2018 but hit just .135 with 20 strikeouts in 37 at-bats for the Pirates in September.
Kramer is unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster because of a crowded middle infield picture, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
Both Erik Gonzalez and Kevin Newman -- two players battling for the starting shortstop job -- are capable of backing up Adam Frazier at second base, as are journeyman Nick Franklin and Pablo Cruz. Kramer struggled immensely upon making his major-league debut in September, batting .135 with 20 strikeouts in 40 at-bats. Still, the 24-year-old has hit well throughout his time in the minor leagues and will likely get another chance -- just not at the beginning of 2019. "Kevin Kramer has not forgotten how to hit," said general manager Neal Huntington. "He isn't the first good hitter to come up and struggle his first time at the major-league level." While Kramer is primarily a second baseman, he offers versatility as a potential backup at both shortstop and third base. He was one of only three International League players to reach double digits in both homers (15) and steals (13) in 2018 while slashing .311/.365/.492.
Kramer went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts against the Brewers on Sunday.
The rookie has three hits in 25 September at-bats, striking out 15 times. Kramer was thought to be a leading contender for a bench spot to open 2019, but he's looked overmatched. Fellow infielder Pablo Reyes may have moved ahead of him in the pecking order. With infielders Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison both likely to leave the team this winter, opportunity remains for Kramer, but he'll need to rediscover the stroke which helped him to slash .311/.365/.492 at Triple-A in 2018.
|5/14/2019 vs Arizona|
|vs Brigham (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 19 |
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2015||ASX-West Virginia Black||46||177||34||54||7||3||0||17||25||28||9||4||.390||.379||.305|
|2015||AFX-West Virginia Power||12||50||9||12||2||1||0||3||5||8||3||0||.321||.320||.240|
|2017||ASX-West Virginia Black||3||13||1||3||0||0||0||2||--||2||1||0||.286||.231||.231|