RHP Nick Tropeano
It was an even smaller sample size in 2020 for right-handed reliever Nick Tropeano. But his performance was such that it still warrants a look from Stearns and the Brewers.
Tropeano was a bit of a journeyman last season. After being signed to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training by the Yankees and then being added to the major league roster on August 6th, he was designated for assignment by them just two days later without appearing in a game.
The Pirates decided to take a chance on him, claiming him off waivers and adding him to their Alternate Training Site. On August 23rd, he was added to Pittsburgh’s main roster.
Tropeano only ended up getting 15 2/3 innings in on the season and gave up just two earned runs over them for a 1.15 ERA (2.55 FIP) while putting together a 1.149 WHIP.
Unlike Wisler, Tropeano was not susceptible to giving up the walk. He had a ratio of 19 strikeouts to just four walks, good for a 10.9 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9. He held batters to a .233 batting average on the season.
One might have thought that those results, which came in his first decent amount of action as a full-time reliever after coming up as a starter with the Angels, would be enough for a second look in 2021 with the Pirates.
Instead, he was placed on waivers by Pittsburgh, claimed by the New York Mets in late October, and then ultimately non-tendered by them last week.
Tropeano comes with a diverse pitch mix from his days as a starter. In his first big year as a reliever in 2020, though, he mostly relied on a slider, splitter, and four-seamer. His slider and splitter ran in the high 70s to low 80s while his four-seamer sat in the low 90s.
MLB Trade Rumors did not have an arbitration projection for Tropeano, but he pitched on the minimum $575k contract last season. He can likely be gotten for cheap, which, combined with his untapped potential as a reliever, makes it worth giving him a shot.