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Milwaukee Brewers outright Ray Black

He missed time this spring and will open the year at the Alternate Training Site.

MLB: SEP 24 Brewers at Cardinals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers whittled down their candidates for the bullpen by one earlier today, removing right-handed reliever Ray Black from the 40-man roster and outrighting him to the Alternate Training Site to begin the 2021 regular season:

Black, 31 in June, arrived in Milwaukee at the deadline in 2019 along with Drew Pomeranz in exchange for Mauricio Dubon. Since then the oft-injured flamethrower has made only 18 appearances for the Brewers, including just three last season. He’s logged a 4.76 ERA in 17.0 innings for Milwaukee, and has compiled a cumulative 5.53 earned run average across 46 outings and 42.1 innings pitched in parts of 3 MLB seasons.

Black arrived to camp out of minor league options and in competition for a bullpen spot, but he developed a sore elbow that kept him mostly out of action. He wound up pitching in just three games, logging 2.2 scoreless innings with one hit allowed, a pair of walks, and five punchouts. He hit 99 MPH with his fastball in his most recent outing last Thursday, but hadn’t pitched since then and clearly did not do enough to impress the org enough to keep him on the 40-man roster at this time.

Black will stay in the organization, though, and if he can manage to stay healthy, seems likely to throw some innings with the big club at some point this season. Relievers, too, will have to deal with an increased innings load after 2020’s shortened season, so expect to see a consistent churn of the last few spots in the bullpen as the team looks to swap in fresh arms throughout the year.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference