During today’s loss to the Chicago Cubs, news broke that the Milwaukee Brewers were awarded a waiver claim on a pitcher who had been designated for assignment a few days ago by the Cincinnati Reds.
His name is Josh Ravin (he’s on Twitter: @FreshSqueezed22) and he’s a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher originally drafted back in 2006 out of Chatsworth High School in California. He’s listed at 6’5″ and 225 pounds and is said to have an electric fastball but it’s one of those where he doesn’t always know where it’s going.
The Brewers minor league pitching coordinators have had a lot of success in “fixing” pitchers with big arms and spotty control. There’s a litany of names along the way that have given the Brewers value to varying degrees over the years, the highest profile and most recent of which might be the since traded John Axford.
In Ravin (pronounced like the bird of a similar spelling), the Brewers look to have another project who still contains potential, but potential which the Reds were no longer willing to wait for the realization of. Hopefully their loss is the Brewers’ gain. Nothing like have a player work out well, even if short term, on a flier. It’s a little sweeter when the team that missed out on positive results is in the division.
One comp that Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy posted on Twitter was Joe Nathan, in that Ravin has been able to hit triple digits with the fastball but with poor results due to lack of control. Ravin has had his share of struggles in the minor leagues, posting a career ERA of 5.30 in eight seasons. He was originally signed as a starting pitcher but was shifted to the bullpen full-time to begin the 2012 season. He has a career 8.1 K/9 ratio but also sports a 6.1 BB/9 ratio which will definitely need to be improved upon to make an impact at the big league level.
The 2013 season gave Ravin his first experience at the Triple-A level, pitching for the Louisville Bats of the Independent League. His numbers were rough in his 10 games, but obviously at least one somebody in the Brewers scouting department saw enough in this fireballer that they think whatever ails him from the control and command facets of the game is correctable.
Time will tell, but this is another move that shows that the Brewers are paying attention, willing to take chances, and refuse to keep the status quo simply for the sake of doing so. It bit Doug Melvin as recently as 2012 when after returning nearly every bullpen piece from the 2011 Division Champion team, they all had poor seasons in confluence.
Welcome to Josh Ravin. I look forward to seeing what the Brewers can help him become. It’s happened here before, and the likelihood of it happening again is high. Furthermore, Ravin is a cost-controlled, team-controlled asset who has two minor league option years remaining after having been first added to a 40-man roster following the 2012 season.
To make room on the Brewers’ 40-man roster, C/1B Blake Lalli was designated for assignment.