The Milwaukee Brewers have lost one of the true treasures in professional baseball, as Tim Dillard has signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.
It was a shock to many to see Tim Dillard sign with another team after spending the last 16 years in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Although he hasn’t made it back up to the big leagues since 2012, it was just assumed that he would stick with the Brewers until he decided to hang up the cleats.
Now with the Texas Rangers, Dillard will likely play in Triple-A once again, and their affiliate is in Nashville, which is where Dillard’s offseason home is as well.
If Dillard wants to make it back to the big leagues, which everyone obviously does, he certainly would have a better shot to get called up to the Rangers than he would with the Brewers. The Rangers are in a rebuild and have moved some bullpen pieces, including Alex Claudio to the Brewers, this offseason.
Claudio is a sidewinder, just like Dillard, and after getting rid of theirs, the Rangers have now found a replacement sidearm pitcher.
Given Dillard’s stats the last few years in Triple-A, his numbers didn’t exactly support a call up to Milwaukee, even during the rebuilding years of the club, he still couldn’t make it back to the big leagues.
The End Of An Era
Dillard was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001, didn’t sign, and then Milwaukee drafted him again in 2002 in the 34th round. He was in the same draft class as Prince Fielder, and Fielder has been retired for two years now.
Dillard made it to the big leagues in 2008 and made 13 appearances in his debut season, earning a 4.40 ERA. He made two appearances in 2009 that didn’t go well.
He was back in the big leagues in 2011 and had his best season of his big league career, pitching to a 4.08 ERA. In 2012, his final season in the big leagues in Milwaukee, Dillard pitched in 34 games with a 4.38 ERA.
His career 4.70 ERA isn’t why fans are upset that he’s leaving the organization. Losing the kind of person that he is is far more upsetting to Brewers nation.
Dillard made himself a household name in Wisconsin because of his social media accounts, mainly his Twitter account. From MiLB Network videos of him interviewing his teammates or lip syncing to a medley of songs, Dillard brought a smile to people everywhere.
Side note, I miss Brett Phillips and his laugh as well. He was always a fun sight at spring training as well.
After spending 16 grueling seasons with the Brewers organization, where only four of which included major league playing time, Dillard is moving on to another opportunity.
The Rangers come to Miller Park August 9-11, and with any luck, the Rangers will call up Dillard for that series and give him one last opportunity to pitch in Miller Park in front of Brewers fans.
It’s a better opportunity for Dillard with Texas, and although it hurts to see him leave, us Brewers fans wish him all the best as he continues his career, and we sincerely hope he comes back one day to bring more joy to everyone he meets.
It’s going to be tough for the Milwaukee Brewers to fill Dillard’s role as the clubhouse leader and veteran presence down in Triple-A.