Though he had kicked around the idea of seeking a starting opportunity, Breslow will reportedly chase a pen slot in Miami. He also considered offers from the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Red Sox.
Working for Boston last year, the 35-year-old carried a 4.15 ERA over 65 frames with 6.4 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. While the results were improved after a tough 2014, Breslow wasn’t able to show quite the same form that led to a 2.82 earned run mark over his first 402 MLB frames over the span of 2005 to 2013.
The veteran’s groundball rate is down and his home run susceptibility is up, and it’s reflected in advanced metrics, which do not put a positive spin on his past two seasons. While he has long outpaced ERA estimators, and did so again in 2015, they are increasingly sour on his work (5.27 FIP, 5.07 xFIP, and 4.51 SIERA last year).
On the other hand, Breslow still pitches with about the same fastball velocity (he averaged 90.0 mph with his four-seamer last year) as he always has. And he boosted his swinging strike rate into double digits for the first time since 2012. He ought to have every opportunity to earn a job this spring in a Miami pen that was in need of options behind top southpaw Mike Dunn.