All signs were pointing to Adrian Houser getting the start on the road for the Milwaukee Brewers in Monday’s series opener in St. Louis. After Craig Counsell’s team was finished losing the finale against the Dodgers on Easter Sunday, the manager made it official:
Adrian Houser will be called up from Triple-A to start for the Brewers on Monday night in St. Louis. It will be his first Major League start.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 21, 2019
Houser, 26, has been in the organization since 2015 when he arrived as part of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade with Houston, the one that also included Josh Hader and Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. He made his MLB debut as a September call-up that season, pitching two scoreless innings down the stretch. Tommy John surgery derailed his ascent the next season, though, costing him chunks of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He was back at full strength by the start of 2018 and wound up as one of the members of Milwaukee’s bullpen shuttle, making seven relief appearances in the big leagues along with 21 starts in the minors. In 13.2 MLB innings last year, Houser struck out 8, walked 7, and yielded a 3.29 ERA.
Houser, who has had an extended stay on the team’s top prospect list due to his injury, is currently ranked #15 within the organization by MLB Pipeline. When he’s right, Houser sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and also mixes in a curveball and changeup. The curve used to be his better secondary pitch, but the change has developed further since his return from surgery and is now considered by scouts to be the more consistent of the two offerings. Houser began the year in Triple-A San Antonio and logged 16.1 innings across three starts while posting a sterling 1.10 ERA with 18 strikeouts against only three walks.
This will be Houser’s first career start at the MLB level as he takes the place of Corbin Burnes in the starting rotation, at least for now. The Brewers still need to make an official roster move bringing Adrian to the big leagues, but that will come on Monday before the start of the game.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs