The Milwaukee Brewers were not done adding to their bullpen just yet. They’ve just signed righty Jake Petricka to a contract.
While this isn’t the blockbuster free agent signing that many Milwaukee Brewers have been expecting, it’s another move to add depth to a pitching staff that can never seem to have enough. As the saying goes, you can never have enough pitching.
The Brewers bullpen was the strength of their roster in 2018, and adding more power to that group can only make the team better.
Who Is Jake Petricka?
Petricka, 31 in June, is a 6’5″, 220 pound right handed reliever with a career 3.98 ERA. He made his big league debut in 2013 with the Chicago White Sox and spent five seasons there, putting up some decent seasons in 2013-15.
Last year, Petricka was with the Toronto Blue Jays, and posted a 4.53 ERA in 41 games covering 45.2 innings. He struck out 41 batters and posted a 3.2 BB/9.
Petricka can bring the heat, as his sinker averages around 95 MPH and his four seam fastball comes in between 96-98 MPH. He also throws a slider around 86 MPH. That slider generates a ton of ground balls and swings and misses.
Also, Petricka for his career gets ground balls at a 59.4% clip. His FIP and xFIP suggest his 4.53 ERA last year was a little inflated from what he actually deserved. His .379 BABIP against shows he was very unlucky last year.
This helps explain why the Milwaukee Brewers were interested in signing Petricka. He’s a ground ball pitcher that throws gas, a lot like the rest of the bullpen. Pitchers like Corey Knebel and Josh Hader also have big velocity and Petricka could fit right in.
Petricka is a Northfield, Illinois native and was drafted out of Indiana State University.
What Kind Of Contract Did Petricka Get?
It’s a split deal, sources tell The Athletic. Petricka has one minor-league option remaining. https://t.co/UHQHIUFSzw
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 9, 2019
Petricka does not have a fully guaranteed major league deal, as he signs a split contract with the Crew. He faces long odds to make the Brewers bullpen out of spring training, so a split contract makes sense for him.
He has one minor league option remaining, which the Milwaukee Brewers have shown this winter that they are targeting players with options. The Brewers enjoy having flexibility with their roster construction, and Petricka’s split contract allows that flexibility.
For the Brewers, there’s minimal risk. If Petricka is ineffective, he can simply go down to the minors and the San Antonio Missions can try to work with him. If he pitches well, it’s another strong arm in their bullpen that can be sent up and down to fit needs throughout the season and he’s signed for a minimal amount.
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This won’t be the last move the Milwaukee Brewers make this offseason as there’s still plenty for GM David Stearns to do.