The Brewers announced Thursday that they’ve signed lefty Blaine Hardy to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. He’s represented by Only Baseball Players.
Hardy, 33, was with the Tigers from 2014-19 before inking a minor league deal with the Twins last winter. However, he sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament early in camp with Minnesota and underwent Tommy John surgery in March. As such, he’s unlikely to be ready to pitch in camp with the Brewers, though he’ll report to their spring facility and continue his rehab there.
In 289 2/3 innings at the MLB level — most of it spent as a reliever — Hardy carries a solid 3.73 ERA with a less-optimistic 4.31 SIERA. The Tigers gave him the opportunity to stretch out as a starter in 2018, and while he had some success in that role in both the big leagues and Triple-A, he was eventually moved back to a bullpen setting after 13 starts.
Hardy has punched out 18.6 percent of the hitters he’s faced in the big leagues against an 8.3 percent walk rate. Lefties have hit him at a .232/.298/.412 clip, while righties carry a .271/.328/.407 clip against him. Hardy could give the Brewers some experienced depth in either the rotation or bullpen — possibly as a multi-inning option if the club is encouraged by his limited work in lengthier stints. If he makes it back to the big league roster, Hardy can be controlled through the 2022 season via arbitration.