With the Brewers staggering to a 2-12 start, it's been fairly clear they've needed to do something big, something bold to shake up this team if they hope to actually claw their way back to competition. And BOY DID THEY.
Milwaukee shocked the world Wednesday, demoting reliever Tyler Thornburg to Triple-A Colorado Springs and recalling Rob Wooten to take his place on the roster.
Thornburg was a big part of the pitching disaster Tuesday night when the Reds scored 16 runs. Over two innings of work, the right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and a walk. In 7.2 innings before Wednesday, he had just a 2.35 ERA but had been allowing an .899 opponent OPS.
In 2014, Thornburg had been excellent out of the bullpen in his first 24 appearances, but allowed seven earned runs over his next three outings and missed the rest of the season due to an elbow injury. Thornburg's velocity has been down a bit compared to where he was at the beginning of 2014 and he's started to throw more change-ups -- maybe a bit of time with the Sky Sox can get him back to a level where he can be effective out of the pen again.
Wooten has made 67 appearances for the Brewers the past two seasons, with a career 4.35 ERA and 2.87 FIP. His peripherals have been good, but Wooten has had a tendency to get hit hard, allowing 11 hits per nine innings in 2014. In 6.1 innings for the Sky Sox this year, Wooten has allowed five earned runs on eight hits and a walk, but has also struck out 10 batters.
Most of Wooten's runs came in one appearance, when he allowed three home runs to the Nashville Sounds on April 12. That accounted for four earned runs in 1.1 innings.
This was the final option for Thornburg. He can move up and down between the majors and minors all year, but will need to be on the major league roster at the start of 2016 if he is on the 40-man roster.