After some early season struggles, Milwaukee Brewers reliever Alex Claudio has been showing why he was the Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year in 2017.
One of the reasons why the bullpen has been so successful recently is because of several consecutive strong outings by Alex Claudio. Claudio’s career started in Texas in 2014 and for the first four years of his career he pitched very well. At no point during that four year period did his ERA go above 3.00, and the number of innings pitched went from 12 in 2014 to 82 in 2017. He was a reliever on the rise.
One Bad Year
In 2018 Claudio had his first bad year in the majors. He was 4-2 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Because of his performance in 2018, the Rangers were more inclined to trade him during the off-season.
In December of 2018 the Milwaukee Brewers gave up their Competitive Balance Round A pick for Claudio with the hope that 2018 was an anomaly.
Claudio’s season so far
Claudio had an up and down start to this season. He would give up a run or two in one outing and then would have a handful of consecutive scoreless outings. Claudio gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning on April 27th, but since that point he has been almost lights out.
Since the 27th, he’s pitched 5 2/3 innings over an eight-game period. During that eight-game stretch, he has given up one earned run. His ERA went from 4.73 to 3.79 and he’s only allowed five hits.
Claudio is a versatile pitcher who has pitched in a middle relief role as well as a closer’s role. Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns gave up a good draft pick to acquire Claudio, taking a calculated gamble that Claudio’s 2018 was a fluke. If he continues to pitch like he has over his last eight games, that calculated risk may have been worth taking.