PITTSBURGH -- Pirates infielder Kevin Kramer underwent right hip surgery last week, the Pirates announced on Wednesday, putting his status for this year in doubt.
Kramer’s procedure was a labral repair, according to the Pirates, that addressed “recent and chronic symptoms that prohibited Kramer from continuing his training” as he was working to stay ready for the 2020 season. The Bucs announced that Kramer’s projected timetable to return to full baseball activities is four to six months, which would get him back on the field between mid-September and November.
Kramer’s surgery was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., the Pirates announced.
Kramer hit well in the Minors, compiling a .286/.357/.429 slash line in five seasons, and he showed promise as he hit .311 with 15 homers and an .856 OPS at Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. He batted .152 with nine RBIs and 37 strikeouts in 90 plate appearances for the Pirates over the past two years. A second-round Draft pick out of UCLA in '15, Kramer came up as a second and third baseman but began playing the outfield last year to become more versatile.
Kramer went 6-for-25 with four walks and eight strikeouts during Spring Training play this year, and he was likely to begin the season with Indianapolis under normal circumstances. The possibility of an expanded roster in the Majors this year, however, might have created more opportunities for the 26-year-old left-handed hitter.
The Pirates still have depth in the infield, however, with starting second baseman Adam Frazier, shortstop Kevin Newman and third baseman Colin Moran set to return along with super-utility men Erik González and JT Riddle and prospect Cole Tucker. Versatile non-roster invitees Jake Elmore and Phillip Evans saw plenty of playing time this spring, and José Osuna has worked at all four corner positions in the Majors.