Fiers Put Out, Minor Leaguer Recalled, And Why the Timing Makes Sense

Following today’s matinee against the San Francisco Giants (a 7-2 victory capping off a series sweep of the defending World Series Champions, by the by) the Brewers executed a roster transaction.

fiers

It was announced that Mike Fiers was optioned to the Nashville Sounds and that a replacement would be on his way to join the parent club but who it was would be announced later.

Let’s tackle this aspect of the move first. Fiers, who looked rough around the edges in Cactus League play this year, hasn’t had his fastball command at all yet this regular season. In his three appearances — one start, two out of the bullpen — Fiers only pitched 7.1 innings, allowing seven earned runs on two walks and 11 hits, including two home runs. His ERA was 8.59, he had a 1.773 WHIP, and his FIP was 7.18.

In short, he was a mess.

The demotion comes at an appropriate time for Fiers, though not just because of his numbers. Going down to Nashville will allow Fiers the opportunity to work on finding his command in a game setting. He already told the media that the plan is for him to start on Saturday for the Sounds, and since he’ll have to be down for a minimum of 10 days, he’ll get at least two starts at the Triple-A level even if they’d want to recall him immediately when he’s eligible.

The timing of the move, though a touch surprising on the surface, is actually very well thought out. By sending Fiers down today instead of waiting until Saturday to make the move, Fiers would be eligible to return before the Brewers next need a fifth starter, which is April 30th. Had the team waited until the 20th to make the move, that wouldn’t have been the case.

The other thing its does is it allows for the recalled minor leaguer to join the team on Friday, get acclimated for the clubhouse and stadium a little bit, and then feel just that much more at ease with his surroundings before making his major league debut on Saturday.

So that was a hint, and here it is:

burgosThe minor leaguer who was recalled is none other than the Brewers’ 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and World Baseball Classic marvel, Hiram Burgos.

(For background on Burgos’ career up to the start of the 2013 regular season, click here for my “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” profile from way back on Valentine’s Day.)

So far this season, Burgos has mostly kept it going. In three starts for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, the right-hander sports a 2.70 ERA, in 16.2 innings. He’s recorded 15 strikeouts and allowed just 11 hits though also seven walks. Still, Burgos’ WHIP is a sparkling 1.08. Burgos has allowed three home runs already, for what it’s worth.

Still, Saturday’s game should be a bit of an event at Miller Park. There will be a lot of “firsts” for Burgos, and I’ll enjoy seeing them all in person.

Good luck, Hiram! In honor of your first MLB start, the Brewers arranged to have you face a handful of Triple-A hitters on Saturday.

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