The 40-man roster is once again filled as the Brewers announced that they were rewarded a waiver claim from Oakland on LHP Sean Nolin.
While Nolin was not a part of last week’s Khris Davis trade with the Athletics, he is an additional piece of compensation that Milwaukee acquired as a result of the exchange.
Nolin made his way to Oakland via the blockbuster trade that saw Josh Donaldson head north of the border to Toronto. Just this past season, Nolin ranked as high as no. eight in Baseball America’s top prospects this past offseason, as he was longly hailed as one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects. Nolin has an arsenal of four, occasionally five pitches that he can mix into an above average command. This has some seeing him as high as a no. four starter in a rotation and perhaps even higher if he continues to develop.
A sports hernia injury sidelined Nolin throughout 2015 but he came around to making 14 appearances (12 starts) at the Triple-A level. He showed consistency with a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a WHIP of 1.25.
Nolin’s stats weren’t as staggering at the Major League level, starting six games and tallying an ERA of 5.28. His strikeout to walk ratio was not clear cut as it was in the Minors, having struck out 15 batters to walking 12. His fastball has teetered off a bit in velocity, as it averaged only 86.7 MPH compared to the consistent level of scraping 90 MPH and above as a product in the Toronto system.
If Nolin has a solid Spring Training, there is a chance he could break through and battle with Chase Anderson as the no. five starter in the rotation, being the only left-handed option. Nolin is out of minor league options, so he will either find his way into the roster out of camp or the Brewers will go through the waiver process with him.