Before Sunday's matinee against the Diamondbacks the Brewers made another roster move, optioning right-handed reliever Michael Blazek to AAA Nashville. Blazek had made five relief appearances for the Crew in Cactus League play, allowing six runs on five hits and eight walks in just five innings. Today is also his 25th birthday.
Blazek joined the Brewers in the John Axford trade late last season. He made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Cardinals and posted a 5.71 ERA over 18 appearances between St. Louis and Milwaukee, walking 13 batters and striking out 14 in 17.1 innings of work. Control has become a major issue for him in recent years, as he walked 5.1 batters per nine innings in AAA last year and has given out nearly four free passes per nine in his seven minor league seasons.
This is Blazek's final option year. The Brewers can bring him back up to the majors and send him back down as often as they'd like in 2014, but in 2015 he'll either have to make the Opening Day roster or be exposed to waivers.
The Brewers are now down to 35 players in MLB camp, including 16 pitchers. They're likely to carry 12 pitchers on the Opening Day roster, and Tom Haudricourt speculates that Zach Duke, Alfredo Figaro, Donovan Hand, Tyler Thornburg and Rob Wooten are competing for two spots.