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Brewers claim Neil Ramirez off waivers from Cubs, designate Colin Walsh for assignment

The Brewers continued gathering talent from other teams by acquiring Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Cubs.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have made a push this season to acquire many players this season that were placed on waivers or cut by other teams, hoping to find a diamond in the rough somewhere to help in the rebuilding process. The newest acquisition in this search is reliever Neil Ramirez. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Brewers acquired the right-handed reliever through a waiver claim today. Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Cubs last week.

Ramirez came into the league in 2014 and impressed right away, recording a 1.44 ERA and 2.61 FIP in his first season over 50 appearances, with a 10.92 K/9 and 3.50 BB/9. In 2015, he dealt with a few injuries and only made 19 appearances, posting a 3.21 ERA and 3.21 FIP that year. This season, he has only made eight appearances and his ERA and FIP jumped to 4.70 and 5.33, respectively. His strikeout rate is still good at 11.74 K/9, but his walk rate has jumped to 9.39 BB/9.

This could be a good pickup for the Brewers if he can work through his problems. One major concern is his fastball speed. Kyle pointed out to me that his fastball has dropped in speed each year, from 94.3 MPH in 2014, to 93.0 in 2015 and 92.1 in 2016. As a result, he has thrown fewer fastballs (72% in 2014 to 50.7% in 2016), while his slider usage has increased (17.4% in 2014 to 40.4% in 2016).

The Brewers have not made a corresponding roster move yet. The 40-man roster is full, but a roster spot can be cleared easily enough by pushing Corey Knebel or Will Smith to the 60-day DL. Since they have already been on the DL for 60 days, the move would not affect their availability to return at all, and it would delay another roster move. Meanwhile, David Goforth is the likely casualty in the bullpen, since he can be optioned.

UPDATE: The Brewers have designated Colin Walsh for assignment as the corresponding move. Walsh will now have to clear waivers, and if he does, he will have to be offered back to the Athletics as part of the Rule 5 process. The Brewers could work out a trade with the Athletics at that point to keep him, if they choose.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs