The Indians reportedly signed lefty reliever Craig Breslow to a minor league contract on Friday afternoon. Breslow was on the free agent market after being DFA’s by the Twins in late July.
Breslow, who pitched for the Tribe briefly in 2008, turns 37 next week and is clinging to his MLB career. As a result, he’s trying to reinvent himself and if his development continues, there’s a chance the Tribe may have picked up a valuable piece at a cheap price. Here’s a few notes on what they Tribe got in Breslow:
– Breslow is holding lefties to a .200 BA and a .244 wOBA—his lowest rates since the 2012 season. Despite some rough numbers against righties, those numbers alone are certainly worth bringing him in and giving him a shot in Columbus.
– Based on exit velocity and launch angle, Breslow is allowing an expected BA of .262 against lefty hitters. That’s much higher than the best arms in the Tribe ‘pen (Allen, Miller and Shaw are all under .200) but it’s similar to Boone Logan, who is at .231.
– Breslow is trying to reinvent himself by studying spin rates and pitch movement (here’s an article explaining in a little more detail). As a result of his studies, he swapped out his slider for a curveball this season. He’s now throwing his curve 39.2 percent of the time. Entering this season, his curve usage had peaked at 7.6 percent back in 2009.
– The curveball seems to be working, as he generated an expected BA of .143 with the curve while in Minnesota. The league average is .203.