Get to know a Brewers reliever: Eric Yardley

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers claimed right-hander Eric Yardley off waivers back in November. It’s okay if you didn’t notice then, but he could end up in the 2020 bullpen.

The Milwaukee Brewers could set a Major League record for the number of pitchers that come and go through their bullpen in 2020. GM David Stearns chose not to address relief pitching through spending on expensive free agents or dealing for a top set up guy. The team will have to figure out a way to get from the starting pitcher to closer Josh Hader. It’s possible that right-handed reliever Eric Yardley is a part of the bullpen at some point in 2020, but will he make an impact?

What brought Yardley to the Brewers?

Yardley spent the 2019 season like he had for most of the previous six years. Yardley started the 2019 season pitching for a San Diego Padres affiliate. However, for the first time in his career, Yardley didn’t end the season in the minors. He earned a late season call up, and made his Major League debut.

Yardley appeared in 10 games for the Padres last year. He managed a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of work. Yardley struck out seven, walked three, and was tagged for one homer.

He also posted a 2.83 ERA in 63 2/3 innings at Triple-A last year. He also struck out 52, walked 14, and gave up three homers.

What does Yardley throw?

Yardley pairs a sinker that sits in the 88 MPH-to-85 MPH range with a slider that sits in the low 70s. He won’t light up a radar gun, but he has posted a GB:FB ratio of over 3.00 at almost every stop in the minors.

If the Brewers need a ground ball in the late innings, Yardley would almost certainly keep the ball on the ground.

Can Yardley make the team out of Spring Training?

Given that the Brewers have about a dozen guys competing for three or four roster spots, Yardley would have his work cut out for him.

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Yardley, like most relievers on the Brewers roster, will be given a chance to impress during Spring Training. He’s on the outside looking in right now because he’s coming in from another organization and doesn’t have much of a Major League track record. However, that can change rapidly during Spring Training. If Yardley can to string together a few scoreless outings, he could really improve his standing in the depth chart.