As everyone who reads BCB probably already knows, the optimism from the Brewers’ organization around Corbin Burnes going into the starting rotation was high. In fact, it was for Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta as well. However you got the sense the expectations were just a little higher for Burnes, and they probably still are.
Unfortunately, the young right hander had a really, really bad problem with the long ball. In four starts, he gave up eleven home runs. If he had given up a third home run in his last start against the Cardinals, he would have been the first starting pitcher in the history of the game to give up three or more homers in four consecutive starts. Luckily that did not happen. Even with the filthy stuff that Burnes was throwing at hitters, he had lapses where he located his fastball over the heart of the plate, and opposing hitters were not missing.
Something had to give. Would Burnes go to the bullpen where he was fantastic last year? Would they continue to ride it out, because such negative results are just unsustainable for a pitcher of his capability? Well the Brewers did neither. Today Corbin Burnes was sent to San Antonio.
#Brewers have optioned RHP Corbin Burnes and RHP Jake Petricka to @missionsmilb— Toby H (@YouKnowAndThat) April 19, 2019
They have recalled LHP Donnie Hart and reinstated RHP Alex Wilson from the paternity list.
I imagine the team was reluctant to do it, but the results merit the move. Not surprisingly, the Brewers optioned Jake Petricka to San Antonio as well. David Stearns is going to utilize that option to the utmost, especially since Petricka will have five years of MLB service time with just a few more days in the majors. Once he gets that status, the Brewers have to ask his permission to be sent down to the minors.
In corresponding moves, the Brewers recall Donnie Hart, giving the Brewers another left hander out of the bullpen. They also reinstated Alex Wilson from paternity leave.
A lot of changes and possibly more to come. With Freddy Peralta on the injured list and Burnes in San Antonio, that leaves two rotation spots open. Aaron Wilkerson is up, and he could take one of them. Chase Anderson was once one of the Brewers’ best starting pitchers and could take another one. Dallas Keuchel could be signed (he would still take time to get ready). Gio Gonzalez might be available after this weekend as he may request his release from the Yankees and has already released Scott Boras as his agent.
Agent news: Gio Gonzalez has left Scott Boras and is now represented by CAA, per sources. Gonzalez must be added to the Yankees’ roster by Saturday or he can request his release.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 19, 2019
There are options available, but none give us the comfort of certainty. The good news is that the Brewers are 12-8 even with poor pitching from Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. Hopefully Burnes can push the reset button and find the ability to consistently locate his fastball.