Earlier today the Milwaukee Brewers announced that Michael Blazek has cleared outright waivers and been sent outright to AAA Colorado Springs. He was designated for assignment last Wednesday, when the club claimed utilityman Nick Franklin off waivers from Tampa Bay. Blazek had already been optioned to the Sky Sox during spring training and obviously no team felt compelled enough to claim him off waivers and give him a 40 man roster spot at this time.
Blazek, a 35th-round pick by the Cardinals in 2007, came to Milwaukee in September of 2013 as the return for John Axford. He was an integral member of the bullpen in 2015, pitching 55.2 innings while compiling a 2.43 ERA/3.20 DRA, 7.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, and a 49% ground ball rate. A mysterious hand injury cut his season short, however, and he wasn’t quite the same pitcher last year. He missed time with a forearm strain in 2016, his walk rate took a big step back, and he served up 7 home runs across just 41.1 inning pitched while recording a 5.66 ERA/6.66 DRA. Even in the face of those struggles and an uninspiring performance in camp, Blazek was a bit blindsided when he failed to make the team and was sent to the minor leagues during spring training.
After spending the last several days in DFA limbo, Blazek will return to the active roster for the Sky Sox and take the place of the recently-DFA’d Damien Magnifico.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus