The Milwaukee Brewers have a history of taking a flyer on former Major League players that find success in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). Eric Thames became a fan favorite after a torrid April and May in 2017. He ended up hitting 72 home runs in three seasons with Milwaukee. In addition, the Brewers signed Josh Lindblom in 2020 after he had several great seasons with the KBO. Lindblom spent the 2022 season with Triple-A Nashville and is now a free agent. As the Brewers continue to search for pitching depth, they have taken a flyer on Thomas Pannone, a former Major League pitcher who spent last season with the KBO.
The Brewers have signed LHP Thomas Pannone, who last pitched in the KBO, to a minor league deal with an invite to major league camp. Pannone, a starter, has had a 5.61 ERA across four years at AAA but a 2.72 ERA in 14 starts for the Kia Tigers last year.
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) December 16, 2022
Thomas Pannone Formerly Pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays
Thomas Pannone last pitched in the Major Leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2018, he was 4-1 with a 4.12 ERA in 12 games (six starts). The next season, he was 3-6 with a 6.16 ERA in 37 games (seven starts). In parts of two Major League seasons, Pannone is 7-7 with a 5.43 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.
It is interesting that, back in 2019, Pannone tried to self-scout himself in an effort to improve:
“I’ve got upside.”
At the end of the #BlueJays season, Thomas Pannone filled out this scouting report on himself with me, walking me through his year and where he wants to improve.
— Alexis Brudnicki (@baseballexis) October 16, 2019
Prior to the Blue Jays organization, Pannone pitched in the Minor League systems of the Cleveland Guardians. After not playing in 2020 (COVID), Pannone bounced between the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox organizations.
A Good 2022 Season in Korea
Pannone spent the 2022 season with the Kia Tigers of the KBO. He was 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 14 starts. He had a WHIP of 1.23 while allowing 78 hits in 82.2 innings. Pannone had 73 strikeouts and 24 walks in that time.