Milwaukee Brewers: Burnes to the Minors, Hart Called Up
By Matt Carroll
The Milwaukee Brewers are already down a member of their starting rotation with Freddy Peralta on the IL. On Friday, another of the team’s young starters has been removed for different reasons.
The Milwaukee Brewers made another set of changes to the pitching staff Friday when it was announced that starter Corbin Burnes and reliever Jake Petricka would be optioned to Triple-A. In their place, recently acquired pitcher Donnie Hart is being added to the big league club from San Antonio. Reliever Alex Wilson has also been reinstated from the paternity list.
It’s no secret that Burnes has struggled in his first year as a starter in the Majors. In four starts, Burnes is 0-2 with a hefty 10.70 ERA and 2.15 WHIP. His 24 strikeouts aren’t bad, but his 11 home runs given up are the most of any pitcher in all of the Majors.
It’s unknown how long the Milwaukee Brewers plan to keep him down in the Minors. However in the short-term, the plan currently is to have Burnes start on Monday for San Antonio.
Who Starts Now?
Since the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t officially announced a replacement for what would have been Peralta’s next turn to start on Saturday, the team actually has two spots to fill in the rotation with Burnes’ spot coming back around on Monday.
Aaron Wilkerson would be a good candidate based off of his performance on Wednesday against the Cardinals. Wilkerson came on in relief of Burnes and pitched four innings, giving up five hits and just one run with three strikeouts. And in true Brewers pitcher form, he cracked a two-run homer to open the scoring for the Crew.
Junior Guerra and Chase Anderson remain options currently in the Brewers bullpen who could start either Saturday or Monday. Guerra hasn’t pitched since Monday while Anderson hasn’t pitched since Tuesday, so both have rested enough to start either game.
Missions starter Adrian Houser is the other name that keeps popping up when considering alternate starters for the Brewers, but he is currently scheduled to start Friday night’s game for San Antonio. The Brewers would need to change that and announce a corresponding move for him to be able to start either game.
If last year was any indication, it’s not surprising that manager Craig Counsell is shaking up the bullpen with today’s moves. Bringing up Hart in place of Petricka gives the team another lefty out of the bullpen and, combined with the reinstatement of Wilson, gives another arm to a reliever corps that will see at least one of its arms pulled to starting duty.
In his short time with the team, Hart has gone 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA and five hits given up over six appearances. He has pitched just three innings in those six games, striking out four and walking two. He has not given up a home run yet in limited time so far this year, which could be a nice change of pace for the Brewers.
After a season of optimism as to what Burnes might accomplish as a first time starter in the major leagues, a demotion after just four starts is certainly disappointing. But perhaps while in the minors Burnes can reconnect with what made him so electric in the first place and come back to the Milwaukee Brewers ready to dominate.