The Rangers have claimed left-hander Jesse Biddle off waivers from the Mariners, according to announcements from both clubs. Texas transferred Jeffrey Springs from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
The 27-year-old Biddle is a former first-round pick who bounced back from injuries to give the Braves a strong season in the bullpen in 2018 (3.11 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 55.6 percent grounder rate in 63 2/3 innings). The 2019 season, however, has been a nightmare for the hard-throwing southpaw. In 22 2/3 innings between Atlanta and Seattle, Biddle has been pummeled for a 7.54 ERA. His strikeout, walk, home-run, ground-ball and swinging-strike rates have all gone in the wrong direction, with his control being particularly problematic; Biddle has walked 17 batters, hit another, and thrown seven wild pitches thus far in ’19.
That glut of red flags notwithstanding, Biddle is still a 27-year-old lefty who averages better than 94 mph on his heater and has some very recent success on his resume. Hard-throwing lefties who can miss bats and generate grounders in bunches are hard to come by, making Biddle an interesting reclamation project even if this year hasn’t been at all encouraging.