During the Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates game on Monday evening international baseball history was made, when Dovydas Neverauskas debuted in the big leagues. He became the first MLB player from Lithuania in Major League Baseball. The hard-throwing right-hander conceded two hits and a run in two solid innings, while striking out one. 15 of his 25 pitches were strikes.
Neverauskas, who was added to the 40-man roster of the Pirates last November, was called up to the Pirates from Triple-A before the game to give the bullpen a fresh arm. He entered the game in the eighth inning with Pittsburgh trailing 3-13 a perfect opportunity to give a rookie his first appearance in the show.
The 24-year-old Neverauskas was signed as an amateur free agent in June of 2010. In the following years, he moved through the farm system of the National League organization. It clicked in 2015 when he switched from starting to relieving and since then he was breaking towards the big leagues.
Neverauskas is the fourth player who was raised and developed in European Baseball to reach the MLB after Alex Liddi, Donald Lutz and Max Kepler and since Major League Baseball has been holding its MLB European Elite Camp each summer.