The Brewers have designated left-hander Ethan Small for assignment, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. That’s the corresponding 40-man roster move for the two players acquired from Baltimore in the Corbin Burnes trade.
Small was Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2019 after an excellent college career at Mississippi State. He was initially regarded as one or the better prospects in the organization, but his stock had dipped as he reached the upper minors. Small posted a 4.46 ERA in Double-A in 2022. Milwaukee moved him to the bullpen last year.
The 26-year-old (27 this month) posted decent numbers in relief for Triple-A Nashville. He worked to a 3.18 ERA through 51 innings, striking out 28.5% of opposing hitters. Small also walked 11.2% of batters faced and the Brewers didn’t give him much of an opportunity at the big league level. He pitched twice in the majors last season and has four MLB appearances for his career.
Small doesn’t throw especially hard, averaging 92 MPH on his fastball in his limited MLB work. Prospect evaluators credited him with a plus changeup and his atypical, over-the-top delivery makes him an unconventional look for opposing hitters.
The Brewers will have one week to trade Small or place him on outright waivers. It’s likely he’ll draw interest from another team given his draft pedigree and decent Triple-A résumé. Small has one minor league option remaining. If another team is willing to give him a spot on the 40-man roster, they could keep him in Triple-A for another season.