When the Milwaukee Brewers optioned Brandon Woodruff to Colorado Springs on Saturday, we knew that the team would need to make a move to bring up another starter before tomorrow afternoon’s series finale in St. Louis. I reported last night on Twitter that Junior Guerra would be the one receiving that promotion after receiving word from my source close to the right-hander, and Tom Haudricourt was able to confirm my report this afternoon:
If it's any solace, I do have it on good authority that Wednesday will in fact be #JuniorGuerraDay in St. Louis.— Kyle L. (@brewerfan28) April 10, 2018
The #Brewers name Junior Guerra as their starter for Wednesday game vs. St. Louis, as expected. Official player move to open roster spot will be made after game tonight.— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 10, 2018
Guerra, 33, put up a good fight in his battle to break camp in the big league starting rotation (3.15 ERA, 16:5 K/BB in 20.0 innings) but he was ultimately optioned to Colorado Springs to begin the season while Woodruff and Brent Suter were given the final two spots in the starting five. He was the Sky Sox starter on Opening Day and pitched quite well, tossing 5.2 innings while allowing two hits, one walk, and one run with six punchouts. The Brewers are currently carrying 12 pitchers (four starters, eight relievers) and will make a corresponding move to clear room for Junior after tonight’s game two against St. Louis.
Guerra was Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter in 2017 but he dealt with injuries and a puzzling loss of velocity on his way to posting a 5.12 ERA across 70.1 MLB innings. A successful stint in winter ball in his home country of Venezuela helped Guerra refine his mechanics and rediscover some of the lost zip on his heater, leading into his strong performance this spring. Milwaukee’s starters have compiled a cumulative 5.24 ERA while averaging 5.0 innings across the team’s first 11 games this season, so a return to something resembling Guerra’s #2016BrewersAce form (2.81 ERA in 121.2 IP) would be quite a welcome development for the Cream City Nine.
Of course given the way David Stearns has juggled his pitching staff this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Guerra head right back to Colorado Springs after taking tomorrow’s turn, either. A reminder, too, that tomorrow’s game will be broadcast solely via Facebook.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs