Hiram Burgos (0-0, -.--) will make his major league debut today, replacing Mike Fiers in the Brewers' rotation. Fiers had a rough start to 2013 after a rough second half in 2012. Burgos, on the other hand, has really shot up prospect lists in the past two years. He was the Brewers sixth round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2009, then spent his first three minor league seasons between rookie, A and High A ball, racking up a 4.59 ERA.
Burgos had his breakout season in 2012, pitching in both Double-A and Triple-A for the first time and ending the season with a 1.95 ERA and 1.035 WHIP. There wasn't much of a difference in his walk, strikeout or home run rates. He has always been very good at limiting the long ball and his 2.6 BB/9 tied for the highest of his career. His 8.1 K/9 was also slightly worse than his career mark. The big difference for Burgos came from the number of hits that fell in for him. His hits per nine innings dropped from 10.1 from 2009-2011 to 6.7 in 2012. Part of that comes from a lower BABIP, but part also comes from natural development.
Burgos has gotten off to a wonderful start in 2013, starting with a sterling performance for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched 13 innings in a long relief role, allowing just one earned run with a 12:4 K:BB ratio. Through his first three starts in Triple-A this season, he posted a 2.70 ERA.
Opposing Burgos will be Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.06 ERA, 2.63 FIP), whose big contract with the Cubs this winter has not paid much dividends for the team yet. That includes a start against the Brewers on April 8, when he gave up five earned runs in six innings and generally looked out of sorts.
Jackson has certainly had his ups and downs over his career after once being Baseball America's #4 prospect in the nation. The Cubs are the 29-year-old's ninth team already in an eleven year career. He holds a lifetime 4.42 ERA, 6.69 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.
Jackson is really a two-pitch pitcher for the most part. He primarily throws a 93 MPH four-seam fastball (54% pitch usage) and an 86 MPH slider (30%). He has faced six Brewers at least ten times in his career. Here is how they have fared:
I have not yet seen the lineup. If you have, feel free to post it in the comments.
In the bullpen:
John Axford pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) yesterday.
Burke Badenhop pitched .2 innings (8 pitches) yesterday.
Tom Gorzelanny pitched .1 innings (5 pitches) yesterday.
- Jim Henderson pitched 1 inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
- Alfredo Figaro pitched one inning (21 pitches) yesterday.
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
- Brandon Kintzler last pitched on Tuesday.