St. Louis Cardinals add pitching depth by inking former MLB hurler

Sep 13, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Aaron Brooks (38) throws the ball during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Aaron Brooks (38) throws the ball during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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After two years pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks is making his way back to Major League Baseball after signing a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals with an invitation to spring training.

The St. Louis Cardinals are giving pitcher Aaron Brooks another chance to make an impact on a Major League Baseball mound

According to a tweet from the official Twitter account of the St. Louis Cardinals, the 31-year-old Brooks pitched over the last two seasons for the KBO’s Kia Tigers, posting a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA and logging 185 strikeouts in 36 starts. He will likely add pitching depth for the Cardinals in 2022, but comes to the franchise with a wealth of MLB experience.

Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB draft, Brooks made his debut with the Royals on May 3, 2014. However, the debut was a disaster, as Brooks surrendered seven hits and six runs in two innings of work. Three weeks later, Brooks saw his final action in a Royals uniform that season, giving up five hits and seven runs while walking three and hitting two batters in just two-thirds of an inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. He would finish with a 43.88 ERA and WHIP of 5.625 that season.

Brooks returned to the Royals in 2015 and made two appearances before being traded on July 28 as part of a deal where Kansas City sent Sean Manaea to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Ben Zobrist and cash.

After posting a 6.71 ERA in 11 games (nine starts with the A’s) over the rest of the 2015 season, Brooks was again traded, this time from the A’s to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Chris Coghlan.

Brooks would not see an MLB mound again until the 2018 season when he was back with the A’s, then spent parts of the 2019 season with Oakland and the Baltimore Orioles.

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He has a career ERA of 6.49 ERA and 1.506 WHIP in 170.2 MLB innings, meaning his numbers in Korea were much better than they were before he went overseas. The Cardinals are betting that Brooks can make the transition with those numbers back to the United States, and are hoping that he can provide depth if and when the Cardinals might need him.