The Diamondbacks have inked two free agent relievers to minor league pacts, the team announced Friday. Both left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and right-hander Ricky Nolasco will receive spring training invites.
Rzepczynski, 33, has not pitched anything close to a full season since 2016. He labored through a handful of games with the Mariners and Indians in 2018 and closed out the year with a disappointing 11 runs, 10 walks, and 11 strikeouts through 10 1/3 innings pitched. His short-lived stints in Triple-A ball yielded mixed results, too, and he didn’t appear to attract wide interest from depth-starved clubs after holding a pitching showcase last month. While he may not be the lights-out lefty specialist of seasons past, however, he could still prove useful to the D-backs if he can inch toward the sub-3.00 ERA and 0.5-fWAR threshold he once cleared with ease.
Nolasco, like Rzepczynski, has a few hurdles left to clear in order to earn a spot on the D-backs Opening Day roster. The 36-year-old righty didn’t make it out of the Royals’ camp last spring, and spent the entire season on the major and minor league sidelines after posting a 4.92 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 0.8 fWAR with the Angels in 2017. There’s no certainty that he’ll make it any further this time around, but it would be surprising if he turned in worse results than the 19.64 ERA, 7.3 BB/9, and 4.9 SO/9 he managed last March.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”