Brothers, 29, was picked up by the Cubs last winter. But he didn’t even make it through Spring Training before he was cut loose. Brothers struggled badly with his control while with the Chicago club, culminating with four wild pitches in a single spring frame. The veteran southpaw never ended up joining another organization, which rated as a surprise given his rather lengthy MLB track record.
Now, Brothers will seek to earn his way back to the majors in Atlanta after a full season of rest. The big question is whether he can stay in the zone. He has declined in that regard in each successive season, landing at just 40.5% in 2015. Reflecting that difficulty, Brothers owns a 5.00 ERA in 66 2/3 innings since the start of the 2014 season, with 8.1 K/9 against 6.3 BB/9.
Before 2014, though, Brothers had been remarkably effective. Despite calling Coors Field home, he carried a 2.82 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in his 175 2/3 innings from 2011 through 2013. Beyond that history, there are some more recent markers that afford some degree of hope. Brothers sat at 93 mph with his average heater in his last MLB action, and still posted double-digit swinging-strike rates even in his two rough campaigns.