The Diamondbacks have released right-hander Kevin Jepsen, as per a club press release. Jepsen signed a minor league deal with Arizona last month that would have paid him $2.25MM in base salary if he reached the big league roster.
The 32-year-old suffered through a rough 2016 season with the Twins and Rays, posting a 5.98 ERA, 6.3 K/9 and 1.67 K/BB rate (career worsts in all three categories over a full season) in 49 2/3 innings. A big spike in home runs allowed and a .321 BABIP contributed to the problems, though Jepsen’s peripherals numbers also weren’t strong, including a 37.5% hard contact rate that was way above his 28.8% career average.
Jepsen’s struggles continued into the Diamondbacks’ spring camp, as he owned an ugly 12.27 ERA over 3 2/3 innings. Despite the recent downturn in form, Jepsen isn’t far removed from a solid track record as a bullpen arm, posting a 2.93 ERA over 215 1/3 innings for the Angels, Rays and Twins from 2012-15. One would think he’d get some looks on another minor league contract from other teams looking for relief help as Opening Day approaches.