The Brewers bullpen is one area with spots still up for grabs. One minor leaguer has been making a strong case during Spring Training for his inclusion in the group come Opening Day.
Every Spring Training, a handful of Minor Leaguers get the opportunity to audition for their parent clubs. Most of them return to the minors before the conclusion of Spring Training, but every once in a while, one unexpectedly impresses to the point that the end up on an Opening Day Major League roster.
Angel Perdomo is hoping to be one of those chosen few in 2020. And his current run has just the type of eye-popping stats that can sometime result in that treasured roster spot.
There aren’t many better ways to accelerate your path to the big leagues as a pitcher than that. Not bad for a 25-year-old who hadn’t pitched above High-A before last year.
What’s his pedigree?
Perdomo was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays out of the Dominican Republic back in 2011. He was originally groomed as a starter and was considered a top prospect for the team at times.
But he never ended up pitching higher than the team’s High-A affiliate, part of that was due to injuries that only saw him pitch in more than 20 games twice in seven minor league seasons in Toronto’s organization. In 2018, he elected to try his hand at free agency.
The Brewers decided to take a chance on him last year when they signed the lefty to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He would end up starting the season at Double-A Biloxi and then jump up to Triple-A San Antonio after just seven games.
At first glance, his 2019 Triple-A numbers don’t jump off the page, particularly the 5.17 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. But then you see his 86 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched – that’s a 14.3 K/9 – among other things and you start to understand why the team sees some potential.
What’s working in his favor?
While trying to keep up with all the roster changes that the Brewers went through this off season, you wouldn’t be blamed if you missed the fact that Perdomo got added to the team’s 40-man roster in November. That already gives him a leg up since the team wouldn’t have to make any major moves to keep him around.
The fact that he’s still in camp certainly bodes well for his chances too. On Monday the Brewers announced that 11 players were leaving Spring Training to head to Minor League camp. Perdomo’s name was notably absent from that list.
Being one of those rare left-handers in the bullpen also helps his cause. Besides Josh Hader and Brent Suter who are obviously assured roster spots, the only other possible lefty relievers are Eric Lauer, who’s currently fighting for a rotation spot, and Alex Claudio. It helps when your competition is scarce.
At any rate, there’s a good chance Brewers fans get to see Perdomo make his big league debut at some point this year. He has all of his minor league options left, which means at minimum there’s a good chance he becomes one of the players that the team shuttles back and forth between Milwaukee and the minors to keep fresh arms in stock.
Perdomo has just over two weeks left to finish making his case for an Opening Day roster spot. If he continues on his current pace, that spot might just become a reality.