Brewers release veteran pitcher Escobar

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Kelvim Escobar was granted his unconditional release by the club Sunday. Escobar, who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2009 when he made one start for the Los Angeles Angels, has had multiple shoulder surgeries over the past few years.

The 36-year-old from Venezuela was signed to a Minor League contract and was invited to Spring Training by the Brewers in the offseason. He appeared in one game and got two outs before departing with hand weakness.

Escobar said hoped to throw on Saturday but he had yet to be cleared.

"I understand the business side. I've been around this game for a long time, and I know, first of all, there's a lot of good young arms in here," Escobar said. "Good young pitching that came to camp and [has] thrown the ball well.

"At the same time, when I first got here, they didn't like the way my shoulder looked on the MRI. It seems like everything would need to be perfect for me to make this team. Even if I was pitching, it was going to be tough."

Escobar said his ideal situation is to find a Major League organization for which to pitch. But he is also considering a move to Mexico, where he can get starts and pitch regularly.

"It's a lot for me, because I never thought I'd throw the ball again after everything I went through with my shoulder," Escobar said. "I'm not going to give up. I'm going to continue to work hard and see where my arm is."

Escobar spent seven seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and was 58-55 in 301 appearances. He spent the next five seasons with the Angels, where he was 43-36 with a 3.60 earned-run average over 110 games (101 starts).

He said he doesn't feel pain when he throws, and never had to change his mechanics.

"If we waited until the end [of camp to release Escobar], it's not really fair to him if we don't think he's going to make our team," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "So this allows him to go out a little earlier to try to hook on with somebody, and to get a better shot at making a club. It's tough for us because of the way we feel about him, the way I feel about him.

"He's a quality person. He's busted his tail to try to come back after a couple of years off with an injury, and you always feel for guys like that," Roenicke added.

Jose M. Romero is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.