Jeffress was released by the Nationals on Sunday, Maria Torres of The Athletic reports.
The veteran right-hander was being talked up by manager Dave Martinez only a couple days ago, so it's curious to see him let go so early in camp. Jeffress was apparently throwing well but had yet to pitch in any spring games for the Nationals before being released.
Jeffress could be ready to pitch in spring games after a couple more batting practice sessions, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. "Here's a guy that came to Spring Training, he's ready," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Thursday. "The first time I saw him throw, he threw the ball really well. I asked him, 'Have you been throwing?' He said, 'Yeah, religiously.' He looks great."
The veteran reliever had to settle for a minor-league deal in February despite posting sub-2.00 ERAs and sub-1.00 WHIPs in two of the last three seasons, as his velocity and strikeout numbers have both been trending down. If Jeffress is healthy and effective this spring though, he could become part of the Nats' set-up crew in front of Brad Hand.
Jeffress signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
It's something of a surprise that the veteran righty had to settle for a minor-league deal, as his 1.54 ERA last season marked the second time in three years that he finished well below 2.00 in that category. His 17:12 K:BB in 23.1 innings suggests he got rather lucky, though his groundball-heavy profile means he's frequently outperformed the ERA estimators. The Nationals probably can't expect another season with an ERA quite so low, but it would be a surprise if Jeffress fails to emerge from camp with a spot on the big-league roster, assuming his stuff isn't diminished. The presence of Brad Hand means he doesn't have a clear path to add to his 52 career saves early on, though he could be one of the top alternatives should Hand get hurt or struggle.
Jeffress worked around two walks to pitch a scoreless ninth inning and record the save in Friday's 1-0 win over the Twins.
Jeffress walked speedy leadoff hitter Byron Buxton, but a double play quickly erased that threat. He then walked the dangerous Nelson Cruz but struck out Eddie Rosario to record his eighth save in 10 chances this season. Rowan Wick and Craig Kimbrel are also seeing some save opportunities in Chicago, but Jeffress has been effective with a 1.69 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, and the veteran reliever leads the team in saves with Wick behind him with four.
Jeffress (4-1) allowed two earned runs on two walks and one hit to blow the save Tuesday against Cleveland. However, he did earn the win.
Jeffress entered the game in the ninth inning to protect a 5-3 lead. However, he walked the leadoff batter and then allowed a two-run home run to Francisco Lindor to blow the save. Jeffress has earned the majority of saves since the middle of August, though Craig Kimbrel did convert an opportunity on Saturday against Milwaukee. It remains to be seen how manager David Ross decides to divide the closer role to end the campaign, though Jeffress has maintained a very solid 1.86 ERA and 0.93 WHIP across 19.1 innings.
Jeffress earned the save against Cincinnati on Thursday, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning of work.
The right-hander's successful run as closer continued against the Reds as he allowed only a harmless infield single in the nine-pitch outing. Since suffering his only blown save of the season Aug. 19, Jeffress has thrown seven scoreless innings across six appearances while picking up five saves and a win. His 3.8 BB/9 on the season is slightly concerning, but as long as Jeffress continues to get the job done he should continue to function as the primary closer for Chicago.
Jeffress earned the save Tuesday after throwing a scoreless ninth inning against the Reds. He struck out one batter.
Brian Goodwin got aboard via a one-out single, but Jeffress easily worked around him to preserve the shutout for the Cubs. Jeffress has taken over as the No. 1 closing option for Chicago, earning each of the team's last four saves to bring his total to six, after Rowan Wick earned four saves from Aug. 1 to Aug. 18 following Craig Kimbrel's removal from the ninth-inning role.
Jeffress pitched a scoreless ninth inning with one walk and one strikeout to earn the save in Friday's 4-1 win over the Cardinals.
Jeffress struck out Dylan Carlson to begin his appearance, but walked Kolten Wong. He then erased that mistake by getting Tommy Edman to ground into a double play. Jeffress now has five saves in 14 appearances this season, four of which have come in his last six outings. He appears to have taken over for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning. Rowan Wick is also in the closer conversation, but he earned the hold Friday with a scoreless eighth inning. Jeffress has a 1.13 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 11 strikeouts across 16 innings this season.
Jeffress (3-1) recorded the win in Tuesday's 8-7 victory over the Pirates in 11 innings, walking one and striking out two over 1.2 scoreless frames.
After Pittsburgh scored to tie things back up in the bottom of the 10th off Josh Osich, Jeffress entered the game and got Erik Gonzalez to line into an inning-ending double play on his first pitch. The right-hander then held the Bucs in check in the 11th for the win. Jeffress has only been scored upon twice in 13 appearances this season, leading to an impressive 1.20 ERA and 0.80 WHIP through 15 innings, and he's made his outings count with three wins, three holds and four saves.
Jeffress walked one and struck out one in a scoreless seventh inning Saturday to record his fourth save of the season in the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds.
He continues to trade save chances with Rowan Wick, and the two right-handers are now tied for the club lead with four saves apiece. Jeffress has a strong 1.35 ERA and 0.83 WHIP through 13.1 innings, but his 8:6 K:BB suggests his hold on a high-leverage job may be shaky.
Jeffress logged 1.1 scoreless innings to record the save in Sunday's 2-1 win over the White Sox. He allowed a hit and two walks while striking out one.
Jeffress was asked to record the final four outs of the game, and while things got dicey in the ninth with the White Sox loading the bases with two outs, the veteran reliever was able to escape with his third save. Jeffress has been good for the Cubs, as he lowered his ERA to 1.46 with the scoreless effort, and he should continue sharing the closer role with Rowan Wick and potentially Craig Kimbrel.
Jeffress pitched a scoreless seventh inning to record the save in Game 2 of Monday's doubleheader against the Cardinals.
Jeffress set the Cardinals down in order to record his second save of the season. The veteran reliever now has an impressive 0.90 ERA through 10 innings pitched this season, and he and Rowan Wick have supplanted Craig Kimbrel as the options for saves in the Chicago bullpen. Wick leads the team with three saves, and the two should continue to share the role for the time being.
Jeffress pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Pirates to record a hold.
The hold was the first of the season for Jeffress to go along with a save in three appearances, and he has a perfect 0.00 ERA across his three innings of work so far. The veteran righty could be in the mix for more saves moving forward, as manager David Ross was noncommittal Saturday about Craig Kimbrel and his 27.00 ERA remaining in the closer role, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Jeffress and lefty Rowan Wick would seem to be the next candidates in line for saves if Kimbrel gets bumped, possibly splitting the duties and getting chances based on matchups.
Jeffress recorded the final two outs Monday, striking out one, to pick up the save in an 8-7 win over the Reds.
Craig Kimbrel started the ninth inning but couldn't find the plate, giving up two runs on four walks, a HBP and a wild pitch while getting only one out. Cubs manager David Ross had little choice but to hand the ball to Jeffress, and the former Brewer was able to escape the jam Kimbrel created. One outing typically wouldn't result in an immediate change of closers, but in the shortened 2020 campaign, Ross may have a tough time trusting Kimbrel in a high-leverage spot until he turns things around, opening the door for Jeffress to get more save chances.
Jeffress will likely team with Rowan Wick as setup options ahead of Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Wick was dominant for the Cubs last season, posting a 2.43 ERA and 35 strikeouts across 33.1 innings of relief, while Jeffress struggled with a 5.02 ERA for Milwaukee. That could put Wick slightly ahead in the bullpen pecking order for now, but Jeffress did record a stellar 1.29 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 89 strikeouts across 76.2 innings in 2018, so he's had success in recent years. In the righty's down 2019 campaign, his average fastball velocity dipped from 95.3 mph a season earlier to 93.8 mph. If he's able to regain some zip on his fastball, Jeffress could be a nice weapon for Chicago whenever the regular season is able to begin.
Jeffress (hip) is listed among the Cubs' available relief options for Monday's Cactus League game against the Angels.
Jeffress was tending to a strained left hip before he was released by the Brewers in early September, but the right-hander was likely already fully healthy by the time he signed a one-year deal with the Cubs in late January. He'll be taking the hill Monday for his second relief outing of the spring after he tossed a scoreless frame Friday versus the Padres in his Cactus League debut.
Jeffress (hip) signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Cubs on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
The Cubs are taking a low-risk gamble that the 32-year-old's 2020 campaign will more closely resemble his 2018 season than his 2019 struggles. Two years ago, he posted a stellar 1.29 ERA while striking out 29.8 percent of opposing batters. Last season, he slumped to a 5.02 ERA as his strikeout rate plummeted to 20.4 percent. He also suffered a hip injury in late April and was released by the Brewers in early September, though it's not clear if that issue is expected to carry forward into this season.
Jeffress (hip) was released by the Brewers on Tuesday, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
Jeffress was designated for assignment Sunday, and as expected, he's now been issued his release. He was unable to replicate his stats from the 2018 season (1.29 ERA with 89 strikeouts over 76.2 innings), posting a 5.02 ERA and 1.37 WHIP with a 46:17 K:BB over 52 frames in 2019.
The Brewers activated Jeffress (hip) from the 10-day injured list Sunday and designated him for assignment.
Jeffress was never truly able to get on track this season after an injury in spring training and has a 7.33 ERA and 1.63 WHIP dating back to June 19. The 31-year-old landed on the injured list Aug. 25 with a left hip strain and resumed throwing Friday. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers intend to release Jeffress, but they'll start by creating some space on the 40-man roster for September callups. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the veteran right-hander plans to step away for the rest of the season to try and get healthy for spring training.
Jeffress (hip) is set to resume throwing Friday, Sophia Minnaert of Fox Sports Wisconsin reports.
Jeffress has been out since Sunday with a strained left hip. He doesn't have a precise return timetable yet, but the fact that he's already throwing again suggests that he won't be out too long.
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AFA-Brevard County Manat||10.0||8||0||0||0||0||1||14||7||10||5.40||1.700|
|2010||AFX-Wisconsin Timber Rat||8.0||5||0||0||0||0||0||14||3||0||0.00||0.375|
|2011||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||24.0||16||3||0||2||3||3||24||18||27||7.12||1.875|
|2011||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||31.0||9||8||0||1||3||0||20||22||32||4.36||1.742|
|2012||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||58.0||37||0||0||5||4||2||61||25||52||4.97||1.328|
|2012||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||1.1||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||1||0||0.00||0.909|
|2013||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||5.0||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||1||0.00||0.200|
|2019||AAA-San Antonio Missions||4.1||4||0||0||0||0||0||5||0||9||15.37||2.195|