BLAZEK, MICHAEL

Position: Pitcher

DOB: March 16, 1989

Height: 6’0″ / Weight: 205

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: No

How acquired: Trade with Cardinals (September 1, 2013)

Profile: Acquired from St. Louis in 2013 in exchange for pitcher John Axford, Blazek was originally a 35th round pick of the Cardinals in 2007 out of Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, NV. After spending his first three seasons pitching with three different rookie league clubs, Blazek split 2010 between Low-A Quad Cities and High-A Palm Beach, then spent each of the next three seasons bouncing between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, before making his big league debut with the Cardinals in June of 2013. He finished September of 2013 with the Brewers following the trade, then spent 2014 at Triple-A Nashville. He landed a job in the Brewers bullpen in 2015 and spent most of 2016 with the Brewers as well. With a fastball that sits between 95-97 mph, Blazek also mixes in a slider that generates some swing-and-miss, along with a curveball and changeup. He has struggled to consistently throw strikes at times and his mechanics can get a bit out of whack. Blazek has experience as both a starter and a reliever, but the bulk of his success has come working out of the bullpen.

2007: After turning down an offer from the University of Nevada to sign with St. Louis, Blazek was sent to the Cardinals rookie league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League where he pitched in ten games, starting three. He went 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA and struck out 42 batters in 34.2 innings of work.

2008: Opening up the 2008 season in extended spring training, Blazek joined the Johnson City Cardinals of the Appalachian League when their season opened up in June. He saw action in 13 games there, making nine starts, and posted a record of 1-4 with a 5.05 earned run average while again striking out more than a batter per inning.

2009: Blazek started the following season back in extended spring training before being sent to Batavia in the New York-Penn League in June. He started 122 of the 15 games he appeared in with the Muckdogs, going 4-9 with a 4.50 ERA

2010: Getting his first taste of full-season action in 2010, Blazek moved up to Low-A Quad Cities to begin the year. He saw action in 32 games for the River Bandits, making 11 starts and went 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA while striking out 104 batters in 103 innings of work and holding opposing hitters to a .210 average.

2011: After making just one start for High-A Palm Beach the year before, the Cardinals opted to have Blazek skip past the Florida State League, sending him to Double-A Springfield to start the 2011 campaign. Starting all 24 of the games he pitched in, Blazek went 11-6 with a 5.45 ERA landing a spot on the Texas League All-Star team, while also getting a pair of starts at Triple-A Memphis.

2012: Blazek returned to Double-A in 2012, shifting into more of a relief role. He worked in 40 games, starting only seven of them, and went 5-8 with a 4.16 ERA. He again made a pair of appearances at Triple-A Memphis but saw the lion’s share of his action with Springfield for the second straight year.

2013: It looked like more of the same for Blazek in 2013 as he returned o Springfield to begin the year. The right-hander was lights out however, allowing just two earned runs over 17 appearances while notching seven saves. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A Memphis in late-May. After a month there, Blazek got the call to join the Cardinals bullpen and wound up making his big league debut in St. Louis on June 22nd. He bounced between St. Louis and Memphis over the next several months before being dealt to the Brewers, then logged seven more September games with Milwaukee as rosters expanded.

2014: The Brewers sent Blazek to Triple-A Nashville for his first full season in their organization and he worked as both a starter and reliever for the Sounds. In 37 games, 17 of which he started, Blazek went 4-4 with a 4.13 ERA, recording one save.

2015: After landing a spot in the Brewers bullpen to start the 2015 season, Blazek wound up making 45 relief appearances for Milwaukee. He posted a record of 5-3 with a 2.43 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .200 average, but saw his season cut short after breaking his hand in August.

2016: Blazek once again landed a spot on the Brewers opening day roster in 2016. He shuffled between Milwaukee and Triple-A Colorado Springs, logging 41.1 innings of relief work with the Brewers and going 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA.