It is still about two weeks before the start of the 2021 MLB regular season, but the Milwaukee Brewers already find themselves a bit on the short side in terms of their starting pitching depth. Their projected rotation to begin the year is still intact, but they have suffered some notable losses on the front-line of their reserves — Dylan File will be out until midseason after surgery, Alec Bettinger has dealt with a sore elbow during camp, Zack Brown has had a sore shoulder, and Thomas Jankins is shut down with a flexor strain. The club will need to fill innings in Triple-A Nashville at some point and have someone prepared to make an emergency start if necessary, so today Zack Godley was added off the open market to help weather the injury storm:
Zack Godley has signed a minor league deal with the #Brewers, I’m told. He’ll be a NRI for remainder of camp but unlikely for opening day given the late signing, so more an early-season option, depending on team need. $800K base salary plus $800K incentives. Mid-May opt out date.— Steve Adams (@Adams_Steve) March 19, 2021
Godley, who turns 31 in April, was a 10th-round pick of the Cubs back in 2013, got traded to the Diamondbacks in 2014 and was in the majors the following year in 2015. His best seasons came during a two-year span in 2017-18; he posted a 3.37 ERA across 155.0 innings in 2017 then was a 15-game winner in 2018, with a 4.74 ERA but a 3.82 FIP in 178.1 innings. He’s largely struggled the past few seasons, though, posting a 5.97 ERA in 92.1 innings split between Arizona and Toronto in 2019 before limping to a 8.16 ERA in 28.2 innings for the Red Sox in 2020.
Godley has never been a particularly hard thrower, typically in the 89-91 MPH range throughout his career while relying more heavily on a sinker and cutter than his four-seamer. Godley’s primary pitch has actually been his curveball during his time in the big leagues, which is extremely fun; he’s thrown the deuce between 38-42% of the time in each of the last three seasons. It is generally a plus pitch for him, though last year batters tagged him for a .333 average and .588 SLG against the Uncle Charlie.
Godley battled a flexor strain himself last season but threw a showcase a few weeks ago for some 12 teams and proved that he’s now past that issue. He’ll get a Mid-May opt out with the Brewers if his services don’t end up being needed at the big league level. He’ll earn a modest $800K base if in the majors with another $800K of incentives possible. As things stand now, Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes are set to start the first two games of the regular season, with Adrian Houser, Brett Anderson, Josh Lindblom, Freddy Peralta, and (technically, still) Jordan Zimmermann in the mix for the final few slots.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Brooks Baseball