Craig Breslow, Relief Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
Date of Birth: 8/8/1980
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
College: Yale University
Craig Breslow, relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, was a top pitcher at Yale University. In 2002, his senior year, he led the Ivy League with a 2.56 ERA. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted him that year. He was a relief pitcher in their minor league system from 2002 until they released him on July 6, 2004.
The San Diego Padres signed Breslow in March, 2005. That season, he pitched 16.1 innings in 14 games with the Padres and he had a 2.20 ERA. He also pitched 61.1 innings in 47 games in the minors.
Breslow became a free agent on December 21, 2005. He signed with the Boston Red Sox on February 4, 2006. He pitched just 12.0 innings in 13 games with the Red Sox in 2006, spending the rest of the season in the minors. He pitched only in the minors in 2007.
The Indians claimed Breslow off waivers on March 23, 2008. Two months later, he was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins. In 2008, he had no wins and 2 losses, 1 save, 39 strikeouts to 19 walks, and a 1.91 ERA in 47.0 innings in 7 games with the Indians and 42 games with the Twins.
Breslow was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Athletics on May 20, 2009. At that time, he had a 6.28 ERA in 17 games with the Twins. He pitched much better with the Athletics, finishing with a 2.60 ERA in 60 games with them. In 2010, he had a strong full season with the Athletics, finishing with career highs in innings pitched (74.2) and strikeouts (71 to 29 walks). He had a 3.01 ERA, 4 wins and 4 losses, and 5 saves in 75 games. The following season, he had a 3.79 ERA in 59.1 innings in 67 games.
The Athletics traded Breslow to the Arizona Diamondbacks on December 9, 2011. He stayed with the Diamondbacks for just half a season before returning to the Red Sox in a trade on July 31, 2012. He finished the 2012 season with a 2.70 ERA, 3 wins and no losses, and 61 strikeouts to 22 walks in 40 games with the Diamondbacks and 23 games with the Red Sox.
Breslow stayed with the Red Sox through the 2015 season. In 2013, he had a career low ERA of 1.81 in 61 games. The following season was not a good one for him. He finished the 2014 season with a 5.96 ERA in 60 games. He had control issues that season, walking 28 batters while striking out just 37. In 2015, he was a starting pitcher for two games, the only time in his career that he was a starter. He also pitched as a reliever in 43 games. He finished the season with a 4.15 ERA, no wins and 4 losses, and 46 strikeouts to 23 walks in 65.0 innings.
Breslow became a free agent on November 2, 2015. He signed with the Miami Marlins on February 15, 2016. The Marlins released him on July 18, 2016, after pitching in 15 games with them. He had a 4.50 ERA in 14.0 innings. He then signed with the Texas Rangers on July 27th, but they released him on August 7th.
Breslow signed a minor league contract with the Twins on February 9, 2017. He was released on July 29, 2017. He returned to the Indians on a minor league contract on August 4th.
Career pitching statistics for Breslow through 2016 include:
- 539 games played
- 535.1 innings pitched
- 22-29 win-loss record
- 8 saves
- 419 strikeouts to 212 walks
- 3.35 ERA
Breslow started a foundation in 2008 to aid children with cancer. His Strike 3 Foundation funds pediatric cancer research.
Breslow has a BA degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University.
Breslow pitched for Team Israel in the WBC 2017 qualifying round. He was on the designated pitcher pool list for Round 2 of the 2017 WBC but he didn't pitch. He pulled out of Round 1 after signing with the Twins.
Breslow and his wife Kelly were married on November 9, 2013. They have twin sons who were born in June, 2015.