While nobody is saying that it’s a big step toward fixing their bullpen issues for 2020, the first step came in claiming right-hander Robert Stock off waivers from the San Diego Padres. The 29-year old has a penchant for throwing hard and blowing pitches by hitters, but unfortunately, has also struggled with control and has allowed a high number of hits during his career.
Stock pitched in 32 games in relief in 2018, posting a 2.52 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings of work, posting a WHIP of just 1.261 with San Diego. This past season though, he struggled and made just 10 relief appearances with 15 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings, but also allowed eight walks and fourteen hits. He did miss time with a right biceps strain and was shuttled back-and-forth between San Diego and Triple-A El Paso.
The Cardinals drafted Stock as a catcher in the second round of the 2009 Draft. He played 189 games behind the plate in his first three minor league seasons, hitting .241 with 10 home runs and 70 RBI. He has worked primarily as a reliever since 2012, but does have seven minor league starts. Over seven minor league seasons, Stock is 22-11 with a 3.74 ERA in the minors, striking out 309 batters in 324 innings, with a WHIP of 1.47.
Stock was released by the Cardinals following the 2014 season, before signing a minor league deal with Houston in spring training, but was released a month later. He then pitched in the minors for Pittsburgh and Cincinnati prior to signing a minor league deal with the Padres in December of 2017.