Reliever Joel Kuhnel elected free agency this week, according to his MLB.com transaction log. That was his right after being outrighted by the Astros, marking the second time in his career that he cleared outright waivers.
Kuhnel, 29 next month, split last season between the Reds and Houston. He pitched 13 innings over nine MLB appearances, allowing eight runs with five walks and a trio of strikeouts. Kuhnel spent more of the season in Triple-A. He combined for a 6.18 ERA in 43 2/3 innings at the top minor league level between the two organizations. Kuhnel fanned a below-average 15.5% of opponents over that stretch.
While it wasn’t a great showing, he’s only a year removed from soaking up 58 innings of low-leverage relief in Cincinnati. Kuhnel’s 6.36 ERA that year isn’t particularly impressive, but he induced ground-balls at a 52.2% clip. Kuhnel has generally done a solid job keeping the ball on the ground throughout his career behind a mid-90s sinker. He could find a minor league contract from a team seeking bullpen depth.