The Brewers got an important 12-10 win in extra innings last night, propelling them into sole possession of first place in the division. However, as usual following a long game like that, the bullpen was depleted from having to cover several innings. As a result, the minor league train is in full swing, as the Brewers added two arms into their bullpen for today’s game. One of the corresponding moves was the expected return of Jacob Nottingham to Triple-A. The other was a bit of a surprise: Jhoulys Chacin to the IL.
RHP Jacob Barnes and RHP Taylor Williams have been recalled from Triple-A San Antonio. RHP Jhoulys Chacín (lower back strain) has been placed on the 10-day injured list and C Jacob Nottingham has been optioned to San Antonio. pic.twitter.com/hH6s3lmWku— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 2, 2019
Jacob Barnes is back in the majors for the third time this season, and has become a regular on the minor league shuttle. His results in the majors have been mixed so far. He’s posted an 11.49 K/9 and 3.98 FIP over 15.2 innings, but also a 5.17 BB/9 and 6.89 ERA. It’s been better in the minors, where he has a 6.14 K/9 but hasn’t allowed a walk yet. He’s also posted a 1.23 ERA and 4.03 FIP in the minors.
It’s been a similar story for Taylor Williams. Over 10.1 IP, he has a 7.84 K/9 and 3.83 FIP in the majors, but a 2.61 BB/9 and 6.10 ERA as well. However, in the minors, his K/9 jumped to 11.17 and he’s got a 1.86 ERA and 4.56 FIP. This is also Williams’ third time in the majors this year.
Jacob Nottingham was recalled after Manny Pina went to the IL, and he basically served as a bench player and nothing else. He appeared in six games, but only got five plate appearances in his time with the team. He did hit his first major league home run during that time, as well as drove in four runs. Nottingham will return to the minors to continue to get regular work at catcher, in preparation for a potential future as the Brewers regular catcher in a year or two.
The one surprise on this list of moves is Jhoulys Chacin heading to the IL. He did struggle considerably on Friday, when he allowed seven runs on six hits and four walks (three of those with the bases loaded), but there was no mention of an injury. Adam McCalvy reports that the injury happened Friday and worsened on Saturday:
Chacín says he felt a tweak swinging the bat Friday but his back did not figure in his poor outing against the Pirates at all. He says it stiffened up while he was playing catch Saturday.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) June 2, 2019
The IL stint will give Chacin some time to get well, as well as get some rehab appearances to get back to full strength. However, with Gio Gonzalez’s injury yesterday, this brings the Brewers down to three healthy starting pitchers. While they could use a bullpen game to get them through the fifth starter spot once (they only need the fifth starter one time in the next few weeks), they will need at least one more pitcher to cover starts in the rotation.
The obvious choice right now would be Jimmy Nelson. He’s currently on track to pitch Tuesday for San Antonio. In five minor league starts, he has a 3.75 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 10.88 K/9, and 4.50 BB/9. He’s still working to get back to full strength, as he has not pitched 6 innings or more yet in the minors. The strikeout numbers are good, but he’s also still working on his control, as he has walked 12 batters, 6 of those coming in his last two starts.
Aaron Wilkerson would be another option for the Brewers. He’s also on the 40-man roster, and would be pitching on regular rest if he made an appearance in the Marlins series. He’s made 3 appearances for the Brewers this year, posting a 7.36 ERA and 2.19 FIP in 7.1 innings. However, his numbers have been much better in the minors, with a 0.47 ERA and 2.99 FIP in seven starts.
The Brewers are set to face the Pirates in just over an hour with their reinforcements, and more roster moves will be coming in the next few days as Travis Shaw is activated and the Brewers choose who will join the rotation. We’ll have some answers here before Tuesday’s game.
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.