David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers are in rather desperate need of pitching help. There will almost surely be some notable moves made by Slingin’ Stearns and his brain trust in advance of the trading deadline, but we still have two and a half weeks until July 31st and sellers simply aren’t ready to make those major moves just yet. So in the meantime, the Brewers have taken a “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach over the past couple of weeks with minor league deals for MLB veterans who recently hit the free agent market. We’ve covered Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller, and now into the fold comes left-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe.
Coulombe, 29, was a 25th-round pick by the Dodgers back in 2012. He debuted in the big leagues with Los Angeles by his third professional season, throwing 4.1 innings across five appearances while surrendering a pair of earned runs. He logged another five big league outings with LA in 2015 before having his contract sold to Oakland, with whom he spent the 2015-18 seasons. All told, he has authored a 4.27 ERA across 153 games and 143.1 innings at the game’s highest level. He’s struck out 134 batters against 64 walks, adding up to a 99 FIP- but a far more promising 84 DRA-.
The Athletics granted Coulombe free agency after he posted a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 MLB innings in 2018 and he hooked on with the Yankees on a minor league contract. He failed to prevent runs with their Triple-A affiliate, posting a 5.16 ERA with five home runs allowed in 16 games and 22.2 innings. He walked 15 batters but also whiffed an 42, or an outstanding 38.2% of opposing batters that he faced. His last appearance came on June 30th before hitting the open market, leading one to believe that he might have had a July 1st opt-out date in his deal with New York.
Daniel Coulombe had a great night of relief for the A's, fanning five including Alex Gordon with this sweet hook pic.twitter.com/3NtLjRSPLL— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) September 13, 2016
The Brewers announced the signing of Coulombe on a minors pact on Thursday and he has yet to appear for any of their affiliates. His likely destination will be the San Antonio Missions. The last time he pitched in the big leagues, the left-hander was working with a four-pitch arsenal that includes a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a slider, and a curveball. He’s a junkballer who leans most heavily on his slider (37.3%) and curveball (28.9%) while mixing in his low-90s four-seamer (27.4%) and an occasional sinker (6.4%). He has done well during his career at generating swinging strikes (11%), limiting hard contact (30.1% allowed), and keeping the ball on the ground (56.8% GB rate).
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus