Mandatory Credit- Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into spring training, Alfredo Figaro wasn’t really in contention for the Milwaukee Brewers roster. He was a non-roster invitee who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. But when he posted a 2.40 ERA in 15 innings of relief, the Brewers decided he had shown enough to make the opening day roster.
Figaro spent most of his time in Milwaukee with a few stops in Triple-A. For the Brewers, he posted a 4.14 ERA while striking out 54 in 33 appearances (five starts). Despite having an earned run average above four, Figaro had a respectable all-around season. His first half was rough, but the 29-year-old bounced back nicely after the All-Star break, putting together a 2.75 ERA.
His fastball averaged 95.2 MPH and he mixed in a slider and curveball to complement it. At times, he leaned too heavily on his fastball which he threw almost 67 percent of the time, rarely showing hitters the curve. Because of his love for the fastball, Figaro gave up 15 home runs or 1.82 HR/9 and of those 15 dingers, 13 were off fastballs. Maybe it was a confidence issue, but going forward Figaro needs to start mixing his pitches.
It seemed to me that every time the Brewers were in a jam, Figaro saved the day when given a chance. His left on-base percentage (72.2 percent) wasn’t fantastic but he got the job done more often than not.
The Brewers would have been wise to keep him in the same place for the entire season rather than transfer him back and forth from Nashville. A player needs to job consistency to perform consistently. Figaro’s confidence and his self-esteem surely weren’t helped during his five starts. He was rocked on his way to a 6.48 ERA as a starter. Besides, with an arsenal of only three pitches, it’s hard to be effective as a starter.
Since it was Figaro’s first season in the big leagues since 2010, I’d say nobody should be disappointed in his performance. His Cinderella story made him that much easier to root for. As for next year, I could see him being the setup man for Jim Henderson.