Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #31 Burke Badenhop

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I posted a new “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” column yesterday. Since I’m posting one today that’s two in a row. If I post one tomorrow, that’s called a “posting streak”. It has happened before.

With apologies to Lou Brown, nobody in camp is wearing number 30 so this run will end today at two. The series will take just the one day off though before coming back on Sunday with a look at the brand new number 29: Jim Henderson.

But first we look at a different right-handed pitcher who will now be called upon by Ron Roenicke in the middle innings of games in 2013…

BurkeBadenhop

Burke Badenhop.

Burke Heinrich Badenhop (yup, “Heinrich”) is a 30-year-old right-handed pitcher from originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He attended high school in Ohio before going on to pitch collegiately for Bowling Green State University. Badenhop was drafted in the 19th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers and signed within a week. He pitched in parts of three minor league seasons as a Tigers prospect before being traded for the first of three times so far in his career.

Badenhop was traded to the Florida Marlins in December of 2007 as a piece in the deal which sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Motown.  He didn’t break camp with the Fish in 2008 but had his contract purchased from their Double-A affiliate on April 7, 2008. He made his first appearance in relief but then assumed the fifth spot in Florida’s rotation.

His first career big league Win came against the Brewers in his fifth career start, and the best Badenhop would post in the big leagues in 2008…or any other year for that matter. The seven strikeouts he recorded that day remain Badenhop’s career-high total for a single game. His 2008 was cut short due to a bout of shoulder tendinitis. He didn’t pitch after June 13th.

2009 brought another disabled list stint, this time for a strained right trapezius muscle suffered in a spot start on August 1st. He missed a month of action with that injury and hasn’t started a big league game since.

Badenhop was optioned and recalled a handful of times over the course of the next two seasons by the Marlins, but those seasons were at least free from time spent on the disabled list. He combined for 131.1 IP across 103 big league appearances over the two healthy seasons.

Following the 2011 season, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired Badenhop for a minor league catcher. It was in the American League where Badenhop put together his best MLB season last year. He compiled a 3.03 ERA in 62.1 innings which were spread across 66 games. Never a strikeout pitcher, Badenhop faced 262 batters in 2012 and only K’d 42, but he also only walked 12.

You read that correctly. Twelve.

He is expected to basically take over the role Kameron Loe should have been filling for the past couple of years as a Brewer. In other words, this is a guy who Brewers fans can expect to enter games, pitch to contact with his heavy sinker, and induce ground outs. He’ll need some good fortune and a solid defense (both of which he got while with Tampa Bay) to repeat those numbers, but he should be a relatively dependable option for Milwaukee in 2013.

Wouldn’t that be nice to see?

Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:

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