Last night the Milwaukee Brewers made room for a fresh arm in their beleaguered bullpen when they optioned lefty Brent Suter to AAA Colorado Springs after losing to the Cubs. They didn’t immediately announce a roster move at that time, however. This morning we learned that the club has designated right-handed reliever Damien Magnifico for assignment, making room for them to select the contract of David Goforth and promote him to the big league level.
Goforth, 28, has appeared in 30 games for the Brewers since making his big league debut in 2015. In that time, he’s authored a 6.11 ERA/4.86 FIP across 35.1 innings pitched with a 33:12 K/BB ratio and 50% ground ball rate. He’s been particularly susceptible to the long ball, having served them up at a rate of 1.78 per 9 innings during his time in The Show, and he was successfully outrighted off the 40 man roster and retained in the minor leagues over this past offseason. The 2011 7th-rounder owns a 3.95 ERA across 481.1 innings during his 7 minor league seasons with 6.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. This season he’s thrown 2.0 scoreless innings for the Sky Sox.
Magnifico, who will turn 26 next month, made his big league debut with Milwaukee last season. He spent over a month on the big league roster but only found his way into 3 games, pitching 3 innings with two earned runs allowed, walking 3 and striking out none. He was a 5th-round pick by the Brewers back in 2012 and has pitched 339.2 innings in the minors over the last 6 years with a 3.71 ERA, 7.0 K/9, and 4.1 BB/9. Magnifico has given up an unearned run in 1.1 innings for Colorado Springs this year with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.
By rule, a team cannot recall 40-man player within 10 days of Opening Day, unless he replaces an injury...— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 9, 2017
So that explains why the Brewers added Goforth and DFAd Magnifico, instead of just calling up Magnifico.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 9, 2017
As for Goforth over Scahill, one factor is length. Goforth can pitch past two innings if he's needed, and Brewers 'pen has been worked hard.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 9, 2017
This move essentially amounts to a swapping out of two alike arms around the fringes of the major league roster. Outside of the two-year age difference, Goforth and Magnifico are essentially the same pitcher. Both were at one time ranked among Milwaukee’s top-30 prospects in a system that was much weaker than it is currently. Both are hard-throwing right handers who throw predominantly fastballs and sliders. Both rely on getting ground balls, don’t miss as many bats as you’d hope for someone with their velocity, and have below-average control of their arsenals. Magnifico will now be available for any other of the 29 teams to claim if they deem him worthy of a 40 man roster spot, otherwise he will be outrighted to the minors and continue pitching in the Brewers’ system. Goforth will report to Milwaukee for another chance to stick in the Brewers’ bullpen, and he does a minor league option remaining.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs