Milwaukee Brewers pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in just over a week from today. Joining that group will be a minor league pitcher who just got his non-roster invitation earlier today.
Harold Chirino, a 26-year-old right handed relief pitcher, was the most recent Brewers minor leaguer to receive an invite to spring training according to Brewers beat writer for MLB.com, Adam McCalvy. He joins an ever increasing young group that will be around this spring, including an initial group that includes some of the Crew's top prospects.
Brewers pitching prospect Harold Chirino has received an invitation to 2024 spring training.
Chirino was signed as a 17-year-old back in November of 2015. He would play in the Dominican Summer League that following summer of 2016 before making his way stateside the summer after that.
The Venezuelan pitcher would make his way to affiliated ball for the first time in the 2021 season, making his debut with the High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He has pitched both of the last seasons with the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers, though he missed all but 11 games last season due to injury.
Chirino has a solid track record in his six seasons in the Milwaukee minor league system. In 139 career minor league games, all but 22 being relief outings, he has gone 16-18 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.379 WHIP.
At times, Chirino has shown that he can put up some very good strikeout numbers. In 2021 with the Timber Rattlers, he struck out 75 batters in 51 innings, good for a rate of 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings (for reference, the K/9 leader in the Brewers bullpen last season was Trevor Megill at 13.5).
Last season, though it was in a far smaller sample size, Chirino set a new personal high in that category. He struck out 22 batters in 14 innings, nearly half of the 48 batters he faced, which equates to a 14.1 K/9.
While Chirino hasn't yet pitched past the Double-A level, at 26 years old he may not be far from a possible call up if he continues to look strong versus stiffer competition. One may remember Jake Cousins, who in 2021 made just eight appearances in Triple-A Nashville after beginning that season in Double-A, then earned a promotion to the majors.
Chirino will at the very least get the chance to show that he is ready to make the move to Triple-A to start 2024. Not every minor leaguer gets the chance to do that before the season even begins.