The Milwaukee Brewers made a roster move on Friday, adding to their bullpen depth with a waiver acquisition.
No, it’s not quite the Eric that Brewers fans were looking to see added to the roster, but there is good reason to be optimistic.
When the San Diego Padres placed right handed reliever Eric Yardley on waivers, few thought much of it. But it caught the attention of Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns.
On Friday, the Brewers announced they had claimed Yardley off waivers and put him on their 40 man roster heading into the 2020 season.
Seven open spots remain on the Crew’s 40 man roster. With decisions needing to be made soon on which minor league prospects to protect from the Rule 5 Draft, those open spots are key.
Who Is Eric Yardley?
Yardley, 29, is a right hander that throws from a sidearm slot, and just made his major league debut in 2019 with the Padres. He doesn’t throw very hard, but gets by with deception and movement, sort of like a right handed version of Alex Claudio.
In 10 appearances covering just 11.2 innings, Yardley posted a 2.31 ERA, which is pretty good, even for a small sample size. However, he did have a 4.16 FIP, which isn’t ideal.
Outside of a rough 2018 season, Yardley has had a solid minor league career. He’s finished with ERAs under 3.00 in every season except 2018 and has 39 saves over seven minor league campaigns.
Despite putting up really good numbers in Triple-A in 2016 and 2017 and pitching at least 70 innings in both seasons, Yardley never got the call up to the big leagues.
Yardley was an undrafted free agent out of Seattle University and quickly worked his way up the Padres minor league system before stalling in Triple-A for a few seasons. Perhaps because he wasn’t a drafted player, the Padres didn’t place a big enough emphasis on giving Yardley a big league opportunity.
Now he’ll get a chance with a new organization in the Milwaukee Brewers. They clearly see something they like in him and have every intention of giving him the big league opportunity he’s deserved. He’ll be in the bullpen mix for 2020 and given his minor league options remaining, he’ll likely be up and down throughout the season.
For Yardley, this is a great opportunity to join a winning organization that will give him opportunities to pitch.