Brewers: Second wave of minor league promotions are in

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 26: The Milwaukee Brewers take batting practice prior to a spring training game against the Seattle Mariners at American Family Fields of Phoenix on March 26, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 26: The Milwaukee Brewers take batting practice prior to a spring training game against the Seattle Mariners at American Family Fields of Phoenix on March 26, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Since last Thursday, the Brewers have had a flurry of promotions throughout their farm system. From the promotion of the Brewers High-A leading pitcher T.J. Shook to the Biloxi Shuckers activating former top prospect Tristen Lutz, these are just a couple of the big moves happening on the farm.

Although the Brewers are ranked towards the bottom of the MLB in terms of the strength of the farm system, the recent promotions and achievements of the players are enough to make fans excited for the Crew’s future.

Let’s take a look at the past week’s recent promotions beginning with the Brewers Triple-A team, Nashville Sounds.

Nashville Sounds

The Sounds have received a surplus of pitching prospects throughout the last week from the Shuckers beginning with left-handed pitcher Andy Otero.

Otero began his season in Double-A where during the first month of the season appeared in seven games as a started and pitched a 3.44 ERA striking out 34 over the span of 34 innings. This is similar to last season where he began the season in Biloxi, dominated, and was promoted. However, last year when he was promoted he didn’t do too hot as through 20.2 innings pitched he had an ERA of 9.15 with an 0-2 record. Let’s hope the 29-year-old has better luck this time around with the Sounds as he looks to gain traction at the Triple-A level.

A few days later the Brewers promoted right-handed bullpen arm, Matt Hardy. Hardy came out dominant to start the season with the Shuckers as through eight innings pitched he only gave up two earned runs striking out nine in the process. Hardy has been consistent with his pitching in his Minor League career as he has never been demoted and his ERA has been trending downwards as the seasons move on. Lookout as this could possibly be a sneaky September bullpen callup.

Finally, one of the last promotions to Triple-A this last week is right-handed started Tyler Herb. Herb standouts the most to me as he leads the Southern League in the lowest ERA at 1.31 along with being in the top 10 for SO/9, BB/9, and K/BB. After being released by the Seattle Mariners at the end of the 2021 Minor League season, this appears to be one of Stearns’s sneaky, low-risk pickups as Herb has looked like a completely new pitcher this year.

Biloxi Shuckers

The Shuckers gain back a pitcher as the Brewers assigned 26-year-old right-handed pitcher Noah Zavolas to the club. A career starting pitcher, Zavolas has typically stayed around the three ERA mark, however, in 2021 he had a bit of a rough season pitching a 4.40 ERA through 22 games giving up 59 earned runs through 120.2 innings pitched. Resulting in him finishing the season with a 5-7 record. Zavolas began his Shuckers season strong with a nice three and a third innings pitched giving up only two hits and a run.

Following what was a dominant, league-leading start to the High-A season, T.J. Shook got the call to Biloxi. Holding batters to a .190 batting average, Shook struck out 43 batters over the course love 33.2 innings. Before a shaky final start with the Timber Rattlers, Shook led the Midwest League with the lowest ERA throughout the first month of the season. With the Shuckers losing a lot of great arms to Triple-A, they sure are bouncing back nicely with a couple of talented arms.

After signing a minor league contract with the Brewers back in February, catcher Jason Lopez finally gets his chance as the Brewers assigned him to the Shuckers. Lopez looks to find his way after not being able to find his swing while in the New York Yankees organization. A career .200 hitter in the minors, Lopez looks to find a home with the Crew.

After getting hurt during the last week of April, Brewers’ former top prospect Tristen Lutz is finally back with the Shuckers. Lutz looks to stay away from the IL as he has been prone to injury since being drafted. If the Brewers can get Lutz going the outfield of the Shuckers will be one of the best outfields in all of Minor League Baseball.

Carolina Mudcats

After dominating Rookie Ball in 2021, right-handed pitcher Stiven Cruz gets his chance with the Mudcats. In 2021 he appeared in 12 games where he pitched a 1.37 ERA. Over the span, batters only hit .168 against him, while striking out 73 over the course of 52.2 innings. In his first start with the Mudcats, he pitched three innings, striking out eight, and only allowing one hit and one walk.

Just like Cruz, right-handed pitcher Fernando Olguin gets his call to Single-A following a dominant 2021 Rookie ball season. Mostly working out of the bullpen, Olguin appeared in 10 games and pitched a 2.87 ERA, earning a 4-1 record. He struck out 30 over 31.1 innings and held his opponents to a .230 batting average. In his first start with the Mudcats, he pitched five innings, giving up only two hits and receiving a win in his first game.

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Stay tuned throughout the course of the season for more promotion updates, as well as thinking about, could we possibly see any of these young pitchers in Milwaukee this September?