Michael Blazek made some headlines during spring training when he was announced as one of the team’s final cuts. Not only was he optioned down, but he was eventually outrighted off the 40-man roster when the Brewers claimed Nick Franklin. He wasn’t happy about not making the team out of camp, and he made sure people knew about it, blaming the demotion on the team telling him to focus on throwing only fastballs during spring training.
He responded by excelling in Colorado Springs, posting a 3.13 ERA in an extremely tough pitching environment, splitting his time between the bullpen and starting rotation.
With Brent Suter taking the mound in a spot start role for Chase Anderson and likely not being able to pitch very deep into this afternoon’s game, Blazek was rewarded for his performance with a call-up today, presumably to pick up a few innings after Suter exits the game.
The #Brewers have selected the contract of RHP Michael Blazek from Triple-A @skysox.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 3, 2017
Mike Blazek has arrived and been added to the Brewers' roster. Expect him to pitch today at some point behind Suter.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 3, 2017
Blazek’s temporary demotion may have come as a surprise to him, but it was probably warranted after a poor spring and a bad 2016 season that saw him get hit to the tune of a 5.66 ERA (5.71 FIP) in 41 appearances.
However, he was very good in 2015 and was a key member of that year’s bullpen, putting up a 2.43 ERA in 45 appearances and striking out 47 batters with just 18 walks in 55.2 innings.
Since he had to be re-added to the 40-man roster, it’s a reasonable assumption that he won’t just be around to soak up innings in a bullpen game this afternoon. If he can maintain what he’s been doing at Triple-A this year, his ability to go multiple innings could be a lifesaver for a bullpen that’s continued to be taxed with short outings from a couple of the starters in the rotation.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference