PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 10: U.S. Futures All-Star Tyler Thornburg #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch during the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game at Chase Field on July 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're looking for something to do while waiting for tonight's game, I'll be appearing on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire at 5 and in The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30. - KL
After nearly 24 hours of waiting the announcement is official, and it's time to see what one of the organization's top prospects can do.
Tyler Thornburg (MLB debut, 3.00 ERA, 3.39 FIP in AA) takes the Miller Park mound for the first time tonight pitching in place of Shaun Marcum. Thornburg is 23 and was the Brewers' third round pick in the 2010 draft, meaning he could be the first player the Brewers drafted that season to reach the majors. He's made 13 starts for AA Huntsville this season and posted a 3.00 ERA, walking under 3 per nine innings and striking out 8.5.
Here's an excerpt from John Sickels' note on Thornburg in his 2012 prospect book:
He threw 95-97 MPH in college but was less velocity-esque as a pro, working at 89-93, although this was still enough for him to succeed due to an excellent changeup and a workable curveball. Thornburg also has an unusual delivery that adds deception but makes scouts wonder about his durability. So far it hasn't been an issue.
Sickels listed Thornburg as a B prospect entering the season. He was #3 in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings over the offseason but if we polled again now he'd probably leapfrog one or both of the guys ahead of him.
We do know for sure that the Blue Jays are planning on sending Jesse Chavez (5.40 ERA, 2.85 FIP in MLB in 2012), who they recalled from AAA Las Vegas last night. Chavez has made one major league appearance for the Blue Jays this season but spent most of the year in the Pacific Coast League, where he has a 3.84 ERA over 12 starts. He last pitched on Wednesday, allowing five runs (four earned) on ten hits over 6.2 innings.
Chavez has never started in the majors and has just five MLB relief appearances over the last two seasons, but he has been a big leaguer for parts of five years with the Pirates, Braves, Royals and now the Blue Jays. He's struck out exactly seven batters per nine innings as a big leaguer while walking 3.4. He has a low-to-mid 90's fastball and relies pretty heavily on a slider, along with the occasional curve and changeup.
Chavez has faced the Brewers 12 times in his career, but not since 2010. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, but Ryan Braun is 4-for-7 against him with two doubles and two home runs.
As of this writing today's Brewer lineup had not yet been released. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.
Here's the bullpen situation:
Kameron Loe pitched .2 innings (13 pitches) last night and also pitched on Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (13 pitches) last night and also pitched on Sunday.
John Axford pitched one inning (9 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched 2.2 innings (42 pitches) Sunday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (26 pitches) Sunday.
Juan Perez faced one batter (3 pitches) Sunday.
Manny Parra last pitched on Saturday.
It's one of the hottest days of the season to date in Milwaukee, and it's still going to be hot when the game starts tonight. The first pitch temperature should be around 88, with no chance of precipitation. The roof will almost certainly be open.