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Gio Gonzalez to start Saturday against Arizona, Adrian Houser back to bullpen

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Stabilization of the rotation and bullpen as a result?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing his minor league rehab outings, Gio Gonzalez is on his way back to Milwaukee.

The Brewers are annoucning he will get the start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, meaning Adrian Houser will head back to the bullpen.

Milwaukee placed Gonzalez on the injured list on June 1st with arm fatigue. Prior to the stint on the IL, Gonzalez was a stabilizing force in a starting rotation that had struggled prior to his arrival. In six starts this season, he pitched over 31 innings and a 3.19 ERA/3.18 FIP.

As Gio’s replacement, Adrian Houser made four starts, covering 17 innings. He pitched to a 7.94 ERA and a 6.03 FIP. Houser’s K/9 (7.41), BB/9 (4.24), and HR/9 (2.12) all suffered during his four game stretch as a starter.

He returns to the bullpen where he had been previously dominant. Over 24 13 relief innings from May 10 to June 22, he pitched to a 1.11 ERA and a 2.47 FIP. He was much stronger in the bullpen in terms of K/9 (10.73), BB/9 (3.33), and HR/9 (0.37).

Houser’s stuff played up as a reliever, and Craig Counsell and the Brewers hope that continues as he moves back to a relief role. In fact, if Gio Gonzalez performs well as a starter and Houser performs well as a reliever, it could be comparable to making a trade for a good starting pitcher and a good reliever.

Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs