The Cincinnati Reds have signed left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training for 2020 according to Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
It’s been quite a while since Brooks Raley pitched in the Major Leagues. In 2012 and 2013 he saw limited action with the Chicago Cubs, throwing a total of 38.1 innings over two seasons in the Majors. In 2014 he spent the entire year in Triple-A with the Angels and Twins organizations.
Then in 2015 he made the move to Korea to pitch for the Lotte Giants, where he’s spent the last five seasons. In 2019 he went 5-14 with a 3.88 ERA in 181.0 innings where he allowed 191 hits, 10 home runs, walked 65 batters, and he had 140 strikeouts. For context, the league ERA was 4.16 – but the Giants team ERA was a league worst 4.86. Their team OPS was also a league worst .674. It’s tough to tell if the ballpark is pitcher or hitter friendly given those two stats.
The left-handed pitcher has been starting in his time pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization. He throws a fastball in the 87-91 MPH range. He also throws a breaking ball in the mid-to-upper 70’s with 12-6 action. His walk rates were always good in Korea, but his strikeout rate was a bit low with the exception of the 2018 season. Let’s take a look at his stats in the KBO.
With the Reds, it seems that it’s very unlikely he’ll be in big league camp pitching for a spot in the rotation. But there is a chance that he could work his way into the bullpen conversation. If Raley winds up in the minor leagues it would make sense to have the 31-year-old in the Triple-A rotation where he could provide depth options in case the team needs a starter. That role also wouldn’t prevent him from being a call up if the team needed some help out of the bullpen.