The Nationals are signing reliever Connor Sadzeck to a minor league contract, reports Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (on Twitter). The right-hander elected free agency after being outrighted off the Brewers roster last week.
Sadzeck got into just two games with the Brew Crew, allowing three runs in as many innings. That marked his first major league action in three years, as he’d last suited up at the MLB level with the Mariners in 2019. Sadzeck, who also pitched for the Rangers the season before landing in Seattle, has a 2.75 ERA through 36 big league innings. That hasn’t been supported by his peripherals, through, as he’s struck out a below-average 21.8% of batters faced against a huge 16.4% walk rate.
Despite the lack of recent big league experience, Sadzeck has been flat out dominant in Triple-A this year. The 30-year-old signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee over the winter and made 24 appearances at Triple-A Nashville. He threw 28 innings of 0.96 ERA ball, fanning 30.7% of opponents with a more palatable (though slightly elevated) 10.5% walk percentage.
During his brief big league stint in Milwaukee, Sadzeck averaged 95.1 MPH on his fastball. That’s a bit below the 96-97 MPH range in which he worked during his earlier major league action, but he still brings a plenty live arm. Washington’s bullpen has a 4.23 ERA and a 12.6 point strikeout/walk rate differential on the year, each of which are bottom ten figures leaguewide. There should be an opportunity for Sadzeck to earn a spot for the stretch run if he continues to pitch well with their highest affiliate in Rochester.