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Some things to read while waiting for Batman to finish rehabbing.
We are 93 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale Baseball Park, and this morning, for the first time we have news of a member of the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers leaving the team as a free agent. On Tuesday, the White Sox signed reliever Zach Duke to a three-year, $15 million contract, which is a pretty nice raise for a guy who received just $850,000 after making the team on his minor league contract in 2014.
Doug Melvin and the Brewers deserve a lot of credit for giving Duke an opportunity, as he had a 4.57 ERA over nine seasons spent mostly as a starter, and his previous success as a reliever was largely limited to a 14-game stint with the Reds in 2013. He had never appeared in more than 34 games in a major league season before pitching in 74 in 2014 and posting a 2.45 ERA with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has a look at how a change in throwing motion helped Duke become more effective.
In this case, however, the Brewers may also deserve credit for not overpaying to keep Duke around. He’ll be 32 in the spring, has had just one full season of success as a reliever, and now he’ll be one of the game’s more expensive setup men with a three-year commitment. Duke took to Twitter to thank Brewers fans for their support during his brief time in Milwaukee.
Read the rest at BrewersFrostyMug.net!