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Milwaukee Brewers don’t want Junior Guerra to pitch in winter league playoffs

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Adam McCalvy says the team is asking/telling Guerra to back out of his plans to pitch in Venezuela

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images

Junior Guerra had plans on pitching in Venezuela this winter, but according to Adam McCalvy, it looks like the Brewers may be pumping the brakes on the idea.

Guerra wanted to pitch in the postseason for Tiburones de La Guaira, but it looks like the Brewers weren't so keen on the idea after he missed August with elbow soreness and was shut down after three starts in September after throwing a total of 148.1 innings between Milwaukee and Colorado Springs.

Guerra told Venezuelan media he'd throw up to 60 pitches in his first winter league start, then more in the second. McCalvy says the Brewers aren't comfortable with that -- aside from the pitch totals, the fact that it's the league's playoffs could lead him to press a bit more. This isn't the same as throwing 60 pitches in a spring training start.

Guerra is a winter league regular, having pitched for La Guaira in each winter dating back to 2008, but McCalvy said the Brewers suggested to him at the end of the MLB season that he bail out this year. It might look like Guerra violated the team's wishes, but McCalvy says that may not be the case.

A player with history in winter ball often faces pressure to pitch in his homeland, especially a player coming off a breakthrough season like Guerra's. It is not uncommon for such players to make public announcements about pending participation in winter ball, forcing their Major League organization to swoop in and urge otherwise.

Guerra's name has also been floated around as a potential member of Team Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. If the Brewers weren't thrilled with the idea of him pitching this winter, they probably won't like the idea of him exerting himself in this spring's exhibition tournament, although the fact the WBC is in the spring may change things.