As they did last season, the Brewers took no time off and made roster moves over the All Star Break. Though the moves may not be as headline-snatching as the trade for Francisco Rodriguez one year ago, the team has announced the promotions of shortstop Jeff Bianchi and pitcher Tyler Thornburg following the MLB All Star Game Tuesday night.
Manager Ron Roenicke announced the Bianchi, 25, will not assume the role of the everyday shortstop and General Manager Doug Melvin said Thornburg, 23, will assume a role in the bullpen and possibly start for the Brewers later on this season.
Thornburg made his first Big League start on June 19 against Toronto, giving up one run through five innings until hitting a wall in the sixth. He gave up back-to-back-to-back home runs and finished the night with five runs in 5.1 innings with two strikeouts.
He takes the place of reliever Tim Dillard, who was outrighted to AAA Nashville.
A Reviewing the Brew interviewee in April, Thornburg has made his way into Baseball Prospectus’ Top 50 Midseason Prospects. In 14 starts between AA Hunstville and AAA Nashville, Thornburg is 9-1 with a 3.04 era and a WHIP of 1.075.
Bianchi (pronounced Be-YANKEE) replaces utility infielder Taylor Green, who was optioned to Nashville following Sunday’s victory in Houston.
“He’s versatile, can play anywhere in the infield. They like him down there. They say he’s a pretty heads-up player. Offensively, he can do a lot of things — good hitter, can bunt, can hit and run. So, they liked him,” Roenicke told reporters following the All Star Game.
In a previous article, Bianchi was listed as a Dark Horse to receive a promotion this year and the prediction has come to fruition. He was leading the Southern League with a .351 batting average while in Huntsville before receiving a promotion to Nashville, where he was batting .305 with one homer and 13 RBI in 51 games.
The former Royals farmhand has never had a Big League at-bat, but expects to receive an occasional start behind Cody Ransom and Cesar Izturis.