A source has confirmed to CLNSRadio.com that the Milwaukee Brewers have signed right-handed pitcher Tim Dillard, who was pitching for the independent Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. Dillard, 29, pitched in the majors for the Brewers from 2008-2009 and 2011-2012.
A 34th round pick by Milwaukee in the 2002 draft, Dillard spent six seasons in the team’s minor league system before finally getting the call to the big leagues in 2008. In his rookie season, he posted a 4.40 ERA in 13 relief appearances, and spent most of 2009 as a starter for the AAA Nashville Sounds. After spending all of 2010 transforming into a sidearm pitcher with Nashville, Dillard saw major league action again in 2011, when he posted a 1-1 record and 4.08 ERA in 24 appearances with the Brewers. 2012 was Dillard’s busiest season in the major leagues, as he made 31 relief appearances throughout the season, going 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA. In total, Dillard has appeared in 73 games (all in relief) at the major league level, and has a 1-4 record with a 4.70 ERA.
After the 2012 season, Dillard was granted free agency and spent his winter hoping to land a job with a major league organization. After no teams showed interest, Dillard signed with the Barnstormers on April 5th and, like many other players in the Atlantic League, hoped that his play would be noticed by a major league team. In seven innings over six relief appearances, Dillard has not surrendered a run so far this season, striking out five and giving up only three hits.
For the Brewers, Dillard will likely report to his familiar setting of Nashville, and may help the big league club at some point during the regular season.
Dillard is the second Atlantic League pitcher in as many days to sign with a major league team, joining York Revolution righty Josh Judy, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday.
For the latest, be sure to follow Chris Cotillo on Twitter @TradeDeadliner.