The Milwaukee Brewers have signed righty Chris Leroux to a minor league contract, the team announced on their player development twitter page (@BrewersPD) earlier today. The 30 year Montreal native pitched in the Yankees organization last season, making 2 appearances in the bigs with an 0-1 record, giving up five runs in two innings pitched.
Leroux has pitched exclusively in relief at the Major League level, making 65 appearances across parts of six seasons. Despite a 6.03 career ERA in 71.2 innings pitched, he has a career 3.32 FIP, suggesting he’s been much better than the results he’s gotten. His best work came in 2011 for the Pirates, when he posted a 2.88 ERA (2.08 FIP) in 25 innings with a 24:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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Leroux has pitched as both a starter and reliever in the minor leagues over the past few seasons, including starts in 11 of his 12 appearances at AAA last season for the Yankees. Leroux posted less than stellar results (4.94 ERA, 1.354 WHIP) for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014, and he will not receive an invite to Spring Training.
Doug Melvin said yesterday at “Brewers On Deck” that the Brewers would look to add a spot starter type, however it doesn’t appear Leroux is likely to be an option to fill that role. My hope is that the Brewers sign someone more established to fill the void and add to the thin depth behind the starting rotation. I, for one, would be in favor of a reunion with Carlos Villanueva. Villanueva has been a roughly league average swing-man over the past nine years, starting at least five games eight of his nine seasons and posting an ERA+ of 98.