Moorhead, Minn. — Atlanta Braves LHP Tyler Matzek, who is pitching in the big leagues for the first time since 2015, as well as eight other former American Association players are on MLB rosters with the 2020 season starting this week.
Matzek, who pitched for the Texas AirHogs in 2018 and 2019, made 25 appearances for the Colorado Rockies in 2014 and 2015 after being selected by Colorado in the first round of the 2009 draft. After fanning 50 hitters in 30.2 innings pitched for the AirHogs in 2019, his contract was purchased by Atlanta in August, where he continued to impress at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Other league alumni, in alphabetical order:
- St. Louis RHP John Brebbia (Sioux Falls 2014, Laredo 2015) is out for the 2020 season due to injury, but is currently on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.
- Arizona RHP Junior Guerra (Wichita 2011, 2013) signed with the Diamondbacks over the off-season after five seasons with Milwaukee and the Chicago White Sox.
- Miami RHP Brandon Kintzler (St. Paul 2009) earned the save in the Marlins’ Opening Night victory Friday, his first appearance with the team. The veteran is entering his 11th season in the majors, having also pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Washington and Minnesota.
- Atlanta RHP Chris Martin (Grand Prairie 2010) joins Matzek in the Braves’ bullpen. Martin was acquired by Atlanta from Texas during the 2019 stretch run, and the Braves signed him to a two-year contract in November.
- New York Yankees LHP James Paxton (Grand Prairie 2010), second on the Bronx Bombers with 15 wins in 2019, is back for his second season with the club and his eighth in the big leagues.
- Arizona OF David Peralta (Wichita 2012, Amarillo 2013) returns for his seventh campaign with the Diamondbacks after his Gold Glove-winning 2019 season.
- Tampa Bay RHP Chaz Roe (Laredo 2012), a workhorse out of the Rays’ bullpen with 132 appearances over the last two seasons, begins his eighth big-league campaign.
- Washington RHP Max Scherzer (Fort Worth 2007), seven-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner, is back with the world champion Nationals after striking out 243 hitters in 172.1 regular-season appearances in 2019.