Craig Counsell and the Milwaukee Brewers have been mum for the last few days about who would get tomorrow’s start in place of the injured Chase Anderson. Counsell has said that the spot would be filled on a start-by-start basis until Anderson’s return (he figures to be out 6 weeks or so), and after today’s loss he finally divulged the plan for the series opener against Baltimore:
LHP Brent Suter will start tomorrow against Baltimore (Chase Anderson's spot in the rotation). #MILvsBAL— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2017
Suter has yo-yo’d back and forth from the AAA to the big club a handful of times this year, most recently being recalled on June 23rd. He’s made 8 appearances, including one start, for the Brewers this season. Suter has authored a 4.20 ERA/3.81 FIP across 15.0 innings pitched with 12 strikeouts, 6 walks, and a 46.8% ground ball rate.
But just Suter will get the start tomorrow, that isn’t stopping the club from making another move to get a fresh arm in the bullpen:
RHP Paolo Espino has been optioned to Triple-A @skysox. Corresponding move to be announced tomorrow.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2017
Espino pitched in today’s contest against the Marlins and struggled mightily for the 2nd straight outing. He coughed up 4 runs in 2.0 innings today and 3 runs in 3.0 innings during his last time out, causing his ERA to balloon to 6.11 in 17.2 innings pitched with Milwaukee this season. He’ll likely slide back into the rotation for the Sky Sox.
There’s no official word yet on who will get the call to the big leagues tomorrow, but a couple sources (here, here) have speculated that it may indeed be Michael Blazek. He was a candidate to start tomorrow before Suter was named but would still be able to provide length out of the bullpen. Blazek is not on the 40 man roster, but the Brewers do have an open spot that they could use to add him without having to make a corresponding move. In 63.1 innings covering 20 appearances (10 starts) for the AAA Sky Sox this season, Blazek owns a 3.13 ERA/3.94 FIP with 52 strikeouts, 25 walks, and a 46.2% ground ball rate.
If it isn’t Blazek, another option for the Brewers could be Taylor Jungmann. The 27 year old is on the 40 man roster and has been pitching very well in Colorado Springs, where he owns a 1.53 ERA and 36:14 K/BB ratio in 35.1 innings. Forrest Snow (3.45 ERA in 15.2 innings), Wei-Chung Wang (2.11 ERA in 38.1 innings), and Tristan Archer (3.72 ERA in 38.2 innings) have all been pitching well in AAA of late too and could be other options on the club’s radar.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs