Milwaukee Brewers: Michael Blazek to make first career MLB start

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Michael Blazek
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Michael Blazek /

Here’s a shocker, Matt Garza just landed on the 10-day DL. The Milwaukee Brewers will turn to Michael Blazek in his spot on Thursday. This will be Blazek’s first start in the Major Leagues.

Blazek has had a whirlwind of a season for the Milwaukee Brewers. After struggling mightily with in 2016, he was designated for assignment in early April. He has spent most of this season in Triple-A.

While pitching for Colorado Springs this season, Blazek found his groove again. In 20 games, 10 starts, Blazek’s ERA was 3.13. He struck out 52 while walking 25 in 63 1/3 innings. He also only allowed three home runs during his stint in Colorado.

This will be just a spot start for Blazek. He doesn’t figure into the future plans for the rotation. He’s a solid guy to have in the middle innings, but he’s yet to earn the team’s trust in a meaningful situation.

This is a start that could have gone to  Brandon Woodruff or Paolo Espino. However, that would require too many moves. As it stands, they still have to clear one more spot on the 25-man roster to make room for Anthony Swarzak.

The Brewers made the right move. Hopefully Garza will be back for his next start. With everything going on with the trade deadline right now, the Brewers don’t have much roster room to spare. It was the only move that fit the situation.

It was a surprise when Blazek was announced as the scheduled starter. He’s always been a reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers, but he has started in the Minors. He just needs to get through five innings on Thursday, then he can get back to his comfort zone in the bullpen.

For his career Blazek has thrown fastballs 51.4% of the time. This season he throws his heater 61.6% of the time, while he’s used his slider at 32.6% rate . He has always thrown his curveball around 20% of the time in his career. However this season that number sits at 1.2%. He needs to mix in more off-speed pitches to have consistent success in a starting role.

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If Blazek can get the ball over for strikes, he could play an important role down the stretch. This is a pitcher who threw some big innings only a few seasons ago. The Milwaukee Brewers need Michael Blazek to be on and available as this season winds down.