The Brewers have added a fresh arm to their bullpen before Friday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants, recalling Ethan Small from Triple-A Nashville and optioning Tyson Miller.
LHP Ethan Small recalled from Triple-A Nashville.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 26, 2023
RHP Tyson Miller optioned there. pic.twitter.com/oHbnhfo37g
Small was the team’s top pitching prospect according to MLB Pipeline as recently as 2021, but his stock fell after a tough 2022 season.
In 103 Triple-A innings, the left-hander pitched to an underwhelming 4.46 ERA and 4.11 FIP while issuing 58 walks. He made his MLB debut last season but made just two starts for the Brewers, allowing five runs and walking eight in 6 1⁄3 innings.
As a primarily two-pitch pitcher with questionable control, there were always concerns about whether Small could make it as a starting pitcher. The Brewers opted to convert him to a multi-inning reliever this year, and the results have been more encouraging.
Small has yet to iron out his control issues. His walk rate has actually increased to an alarming 17%. At the same time, he has struck out 36% of opponents and allowed just eight hits in 19 1⁄3 innings, allowing him to post a 2.33 ERA and 3.25 FIP with the Nashville Sounds.
Small hasn’t appeared in a game since an extended relief outing on May 18, so he’ll provide the Brewers with some length in the bullpen. He takes the place of Miller, who allowed four runs in two innings of work on Thursday night.