The Milwaukee Brewers have made a surprising roster move, announcing that Peter Strzelecki will be optioned to Triple-A Nashville. In a corresponding move, the Brewers have called up left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannone to join the major league roster.
Strzelecki's journey from being signed as a rookie ball filler pitcher to becoming a reliable major league reliever is facing a challenging turn. After impressing fans and the Brewers' coaching staff with a stellar 2.83 ERA in 30 appearances during the 2022 season, Strzelecki was presented with some new challenges this season and struggled in higher leverage innings, posting a 4.54 ERA in 36 appearances. He has been the 8th inning setup man ahead of Devin Williams ever since Matt Bush went down with an injury.
Due to Strzelecki's struggles, the Brewers have called upon lefty Thomas Pannone.
Pannone's track record presents some question marks. Throughout his career, the southpaw has appeared in 49 major league games, including 13 starts, and owns an underwhelming 5.43 ERA. It's also worth it to mention that Pannone has not seen any major league action since 2019. He was a non-roster invite to Brewers spring training this year.
Nevertheless, he has displayed promise in Triple-A Nashville, where he owns an impressive 2.70 ERA across 11 appearances, nine of which were starts.
Pannone should bring some value to the bullpen, especially since they have relied on just one left-handed arm for most of the season. One of the advantages Pannone brings is his ability to pitch multiple innings, thanks to his background as a starting pitcher.
This is particularly beneficial for the Brewers, who are currently implementing a six-man rotation with Adrian Houser, meaning they will have one less pitcher in the bullpen. With the bullpen being short-handed, bringing in a pitcher capable of eating up multiple innings will help address this concern as they go through a stretch of 17 games in 17 days.
However, it is important to remember that Strzelecki is a scrappy player that has encountered and overcome adversity throughout his career. With his track record, it would be premature to write him off entirely. This demotion to Triple-A could very well be just another bump in the road for him, and he has proven time and time again that he is willing to fight for his place on the team. The Brewers have few optionable relievers in their bullpen and that put Strzelecki on the short end.
In conclusion, as we await the resolution of Strzelecki's challenges, we can find comfort in the potential contribution that Pannone holds for the Brewers. Let's hope that Strzelecki will overcome his struggles, while Pannone steps up to deliver valuable and productive innings for the team.