The Milwaukee Brewers are moving their top pitching prospect Corbin Burnes from the rotation to the ‘pen.
Last night, Burnes pitched two scoreless innings. Most — including myself — thought it was odd but assumed it could be a move to help Burnes limit his innings. The Crew made their plans public today: they’re experimenting with the righty as a reliever.
Corbin Burnes pitching relief for the @skysox last night was by design. The Brewers think that’s where he has the best chance to help this year, so they’re letting him get his feet wet. Long term, Craig Counsell says, Burnes will be a starter.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) June 19, 2018
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that the team is trying the role out on Burnes so that he has a better chance to help the big league club this season. After that point, he would go back to being developed as a starter.
Burnes has not had a lot of luck in the rotation at Colorado Springs. Before last night, he had a 4.96 ERA in 69 innings. Part of his struggles are caused by his walk rate, which increase to 3.8 BB/9 from 2.2, along with a .345 OBP. Advanced metrics don’t necessarily agree with his results this year. Burnes’ DRA- currently sits at 75.7 (which is good).
It’s worth noting that Counsell’s line about Burnes’ future is very similar to what the team said about Josh Hader. With Hader having sensational success in his role in the pen, the Brewers are now reluctant to move him to the rotation. You wonder if the same thing could happen to Corbin.