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Rex Brothers

Brewers sign veteran left-handed reliever Rex Brothers to minors deal

The Brewers have signed veteran left-handed reliever Rex Brothers to a minor league deal, per a team announcement. Brothers will receive an invitation to spring training. Brothers, who turns 34 this month, signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs in February and ended up having an up-and-down season. On June 27, he was sitting on an ERA of 2.63 through 27 1/3 innings. However, it was a steep slide from there, as he struggled down the stretch and finished the season with an ERA of 5.26 over 53 innings. Walks have been an especially troublesome issue for Brothers, as he’s never posted a walk rate lower than 11.4% in a given season and has a career rate of 13.5%. But that also comes with tantalizing strikeout numbers, as evidenced by his 27.6% career strikeout rate. 2021 was even more extreme, with a strikeout rate of 31.8% and walk rate of 14.8%.
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Rex Brothers: Elects free agency

Brothers elected free agency Friday, Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune reports. Brothers spent the last two seasons with the Cubs, and he logged a 5.26 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 53 innings across 57 relief appearances in 2021. However, the 33-year-old will opt to become a free agent rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Iowa.
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Cubs' Rex Brothers: Struggles with command Saturday

Brothers allowed two runs on four walks while retiring just one batter in Saturday's loss to the Giants. Brothers got the eighth inning with the Cubs already down 12-3, and the lefty didn't help the cause by walking the first two batters he faced. He retired LaMonte Wade on a flyout but then walked two more hitters before getting the hook. Brothers struggled with command in 2020, albeit in just a three-game sample, and has struggled again this year. He's now walked 32 hitters in just 49.1 innings of work, which explains why his ERA sits at 5.29 despite an impressive 74 strikeouts.
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Cubs' Rex Brothers: Has made mechanical changes

Brothers said he's made mechanical changes that have helped him pitch well this spring and make the Cubs' Opening Day roster, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports. Brothers said shoulder pain he tried to pitch through while in Colorado caused his mechanics to get out of whack, and he posted a 7.23 ERA in 2017 with Atlanta, which was the last time he got significant run in the majors. The lefty made one appearance for Atlanta in 2018, then pitched in three games for the Cubs last year. Brothers was locked in this spring, tossing 8.2 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts, so it looks like the mechanical adjustments have helped. He should serve as the second lefty in the Chicago bullpen this season behind Andrew Chafin.
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Cubs' Rex Brothers: Path to roster clears up

Brothers should make the Opening Day roster after the Cubs optioned Brad Wieck to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Wieck and Brothers were battling to be the second lefty reliever behind Andrew Chafin, and it looks like Brothers has won the competition. He'll need to be added to the 40-man roster before the season starts. Brothers has only logged 3.1 MLB innings since the start of the 2018 season, but he should easily surpass that workload in 2021.
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Cubs' Rex Brothers: Back with Cubs

Brothers agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cubs in January, Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America reports. Shortly after being outrighted off the Cubs' 40-man roster in late October, Brothers opted for free agency. After assessing his options, the 33-year-old lefty ultimately decided it was in his best interest to rejoin the Cubs organization in 2021. He'll likely be invited to big-league spring training, but Brothers will face an uphill battle to win a spot out of Chicago's bullpen.
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