Francisco Rodriguez's attempted road back to the big leagues will begin Tuesday night, as the former Brewers reliever has been added to the roster at advanced Class-A Brevard County.
Signed to a minor league contract on April 17, Rodriguez has a provision in his contract giving the Brewers just 30 days to add him to the Major League roster or he will be released.
The 31-year-old reliever has been working out at the team's spring training complex in Phoenix while trying to secure a work visa. With the visa in hand, Rodriguez will be available to the Manatees for Tuesday's game against Charlotte.
Rodriguez will spend a few days with Brevard County and could earn a trip up to Triple-A Nashville if he pitches well.
After playing a role in Milwaukee's major league-worst 4.66 bullpen ERA in 2012, Rodriguez became a free agent following the season and went unsigned.
Acquired on July 12, 2011 from the New York Mets, Rodriguez was a key piece in the team's run to the division title and the National League Championship Series that season. He had a 1.86 ERA in 31 regular-season games with the Brewers and yielded just one run in five playoff innings.
Rodriguez went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 78 games in 2012, but he lowered his ERA substantially by allowing just two earned runs in his final 15 innings.
Trying to latch on with a big league team this offseason, Rodriguez pitched in the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela. His country's stay in the tournament was short-lived, but Rodriguez appeared in two of the three games, working 2 13 innings with a 3.86 ERA.
With 294 career saves, Rodriguez ranks 25th in baseball history and holds the single-season saves record with 62 saves in 2008 with the Angels.
Rodriguez has appeared in 682 games over the course of 11 seasons with the Angels, Mets and Brewers, posting a 2.70 career ERA in 720 23 innings. Rodriguez led the American League in saves three times and is a four-time All Star.
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