The 36-year-old, who will turn 37 on April 11, has not pitched in a Major League game since 2009. However, that was only one start in which he surrendered two earned runs on five hits in the loss. Escobar has not seen any significant action since 2007 when he started 30 games for the Los Angeles Angels.
Milwaukee is willing to take a chance on Escobar by signing him to a minor-league contract and inviting him to pitch in spring training. Even then, there does not appear to be any room for the veteran, as the Brewers have a good idea of what their bullpen is going to look like this year. However, considering he is throwing in the 90s and pitching well in the Venezuelan Winter League, anything is possible. Not to mention, manager Ron Roenicke was a coach with the Angels when Escobar was a starting pitcher on the team.
Assistant general manager Gord Ash stated that Escobar would only appear in the bullpen and will not at any point see the starting rotation.
“He’ll get plenty of opportunity in the bullpen and we’ll see what he can do,” said Ash. “He has done both (starting and relieving) and done them well but I always thought he was dominant out of the bullpen.”
If Escobar can find his command again and continue to pitch well this winter, who knows what could happen once spring training rolls around in March. If he is able to show signs of greatness and blow the coaches away with his pitching, then Milwaukee could reconfigure their bullpen.
Escobar has a career 101-91 record with a 4.15 earned run average, 1,310 strikeouts, 611 walks and 59 saves in 411 games including 202 starts and 10 complete games.