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Brewers call up Colin Rea to make start Thursday

Janson Junk sent to AAA in corresponding move

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers announced Thursday afternoon that they called up right-handed pitcher Colin Rea, who is slated to make the start in the series opener with the Padres Thursday night. In corresponding moves, Janson Junk was sent down to AAA Nashville and catcher Payton Henry was designated for assignment to free up a 40-man spot.

Rea, whose last big-league appearance came with Milwaukee in 2021 when he pitched six innings in relief, spent 2022 in Japan before returning to the Brewers in the offseason. In two AAA starts with Nashville this season, he’s spanned seven innings, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and one hit batter with nine strikeouts.

Rea has also spent time in the majors with the Padres, Marlins, and Cubs, dating back to 2015 and totaling 36 appearances (27 starts) with a 4.90 ERA.

Junk had a rough start in his season debut Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, allowing five runs (four earned) across 4 23 innings while striking out just two batters. He was brought over to Milwaukee in the Hunter Renfroe trade with the Angels this offseason and figures to get more big-league opportunities later this season. For now, he’ll head back to Nashville where he allowed just one earned run across 10 innings in a start and a relief appearance.

Henry fought for a big-league roster spot in spring training after making 20 appearances with the Marlins last season. He batted .364/.467/.364 with four singles in 11 at-bats at spring training, starting the season with the Sounds where he slashed .200/.294/.267 with just three hits in 15 at-bats before the DFA. He’ll now head to waivers for other teams to claim.