Whether it’s to get fresh arms in the event of a short start or due to performance, the Brewers’ bullpen will look significantly different heading into today’s series finale against the Colorado Rockies.
In addition to activating Freddy Peralta to start this afternoon’s game, the Brewers are also calling up Taylor Williams. Going down to Triple-A San Antonio are Jacob Barnes, who gave up a 3-run homer to Nolan Arenado in the first inning last night in a spot Opener role, and Donnie Hart, who pitched 3 impressive scoreless innings to keep the Brewers in the game Wednesday night.
RHP Freddy Peralta reinstated from the 10-day injured list. RHP Taylor Williams recalled from Triple-A San Antonio. RHP Jacob Barnes and LHP Donnie Hart optioned to San Antonio. pic.twitter.com/UbzZ7fWGlm— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 2, 2019
The departure of Barnes and Hart continues a bullpen shakeup that started with the DFAs of Jake Petricka and Alex Wilson earlier in the week. Williams will join Jay Jackson, who has seen some mixed results in his first couple of relief outings with the Brewers, and Corbin Burnes, who -- much to the delight of Brewers Twitter and plenty in the comments section here -- is officially being moved back to the bullpen following the signing of Gio Gonzalez.
Whether this is a long-term commitment to Burnes in the bullpen -- similar to what happened with Josh Hader a few years ago -- remains to be seen. But for now, Craig Counsell basically simply said “things have changed.”
Corbin Burnes is back with the Brewers to pitch out of the 'pen. The thinking with him changed, Craig Counsell said, after the Gio Gonzalez signing.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 2, 2019
Burnes, understandably, is disappointed to see the team bail on the idea of him as a starter after just one month, but is willing to help the team in whatever way he can.
Of course, as we saw last night, just moving him to a relief role isn’t automatically a cure-all for what’s been causing his problems this year. Burnes did show success there last year -- but it was in a small sample size of 38 regular season innings, and he’s already up to about 20 poor innings this year. He’ll still need to improve the command of his fastball and trust his slider -- which scouts raved about when he was in the minors -- in order to have success of any kind at the major league level, especially now that the book is out on him.
Burnes gave up 3 runs on a night where he wasn’t expecting to be activated, let alone pitch. On the bright side, he didn’t give up any home runs.
At the very least, you can’t say the Brewers are just sitting back and waiting for the bullpen to improve on its own.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference