The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have purchased the contract of RHP John Brebbia and have added him to the active roster. To make room, the organization has designed Miguel Socolovich for assignment.
Socolovich, 30, joined the Cardinals’ organization in 2015 as a minor league free agent. He would pitch well enough to earn a call up in May. He would spend three cups of coffee with the big league club that year, posting a 1.82 ERA over 28 appearances. He started 2016 in the minors, but was called up in July and then back up again in August posting a 2.00 ERA over appearances.
With no options, Socolovich made the Cardinals’ bullpen this season on Opening Day and has struggled this season. He has an 8.68 ERA over 18.2 innings of work this season, capped off by allowing 4 earned runs over a third of an inning last night in Denver.
In his place the Cardinals add Brebbia to the roster.
Brebbia is the main figure in one of my favorite baseball transaction stories. In 2015 he pitched in the independent American Association and posted a 0.98 ERA with 19 saves in 51 appearances. He was considered to be the #2 independent leagues free agent at that point and signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in September. Less than two months later, the Cardinals selected him in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
His first season in St. Louis, a 5.03 ERA in 43 appearances between Springfield and Memphis, was forgettable, but so far this season he has posted a 1.69 ERA in 26.2 innings over 15 appearances. He’s had a 0.79 WHIP.
The scouting report on him says he’s got a mid-90s fastball and used a slider for his outpitch. He has a good changeup and recently added a sinker into the mix.
Socolovich’s future is a little less certain. The DFA gives them a roster spot immediately while they decide what to do with him. They could trade him, put him on waivers, or outright him. I expect that they will place him on waivers and, if he clears, he’ll be optioned to Memphis and retain his spot on the 40 man roster.
In other news, Jonathan Broxton is still here.