Hello again everyone and welcome to the Tuesday morning edition of Brewer Daily News. Despite his few brief appearances up in the majors this season, Milwaukee Brewers’ prospect Johnny Hellweg remains confident in his abilities. Secondly, tonight the Brewers (57-73) will head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates (76-54) for a three-game series.
Hellweg, 24, made his debut on June 28th and had been shellacked in his four starts, racking up an ERA of 10.97 with three losses. Since then, Hellweg has focused on his time in Triple-A Nashville, where he is 11-5 with an ERA of 3.16 in 22 starts.
“Some of the pitches I was getting guys out with in Triple-A wasn’t working up there,” said Hellweg. “Everything kind of wasn’t speeding up as much. I think that’ll help my approach next time.” – via Brewers.com
Currently, Hellweg leads in the Pacific Coast League for the All-PCL Team alongside Chris Owings and Michael Choice. It’s unknown if the Brewers will include Hellweg in their call-ups once the rosters expand on Sunday.
Tonight, the Brew Crew will play the Bucs for a three-game series in which Milwaukee could play some serious spoiler. The Pirates are currently half a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League Central while the Cincinnati Reds are 3.5 games back.
For the Pirates, the story all season has been the emergence of their starters. A.J. Burnett has helped steer the team in the right direction alongside Francisco Liriano and rookies Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they still remain without closer Jason Grilli, who on a positive note may throw a simulated game this week. Mark Melancon has taken over as the temporarily closer and has done so with success.
Andrew McCutchen still leads the Bucs in offense while Pedro Alvarez continues to hit home runs and rookie Starling Marte has continued to impress, though now finds himself on the 15-day disabled list. The Pirates are hoping to get some more offensive production out of Neil Walker, Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez.
The Brewers haven’t exactly stumbled out of the gate like they did in the first half of the season, but still remain way out of contention. Veteran Kyle Lohse has become the ace of the starting rotation while the likes of Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada are contributing with their positive outings as of late. The bullpen continues to be solid, especially with closer Jim Henderson who has thrived in the role.
Offensively, the two biggest stories have been Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett, both rookies who are filling some big shoes. Even outfielder Caleb Gindl has pitched in with two big home runs in the past series and catcher Jonathan Lucroy has also been swinging a hot bat. All-Stars Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez have cooled off a bit, but still remain as dominant forces in the Brew Crew’s line-up.
Projected pitching match-ups:
Tonight: Kyle Lohse (9-8, 3.22 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (9-4, 3.01 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET / 6:05 p.m. CT
Thursday: Yovani Gallardo (9-9, 4.61 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (6-6, 3.81 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET / 6:05 p.m. CT