The Milwaukee Brewers have called up pitcher Johnny Hellweg to replace Alfredo Figaro on the 25-man roster. Figaro was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain that he suffered in Tuesday’s start against the Chicago Cubs. Hellweg will be making his Major League Baseball debut when he takes the mound for Friday’s series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Figaro’s hurt, so we need another starter again,” manager Ron Roenicke said, according to Brewers.com. “The problem is if we go to the bullpen, to [Tom] Gorzelanny, we don’t really have a long guy to come up and fill those spots.”
Hellweg started hot out of the gates in Spring Training but cooled off as the weeks went on. He was 0-1 with a 4.15 earned run average and seven strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings over five appearances. Tyler Thornburg and he were both cut in early March while there were still 23 players that needed to be sent down to form the active roster.
There are several players the Brewers could have called up to make the spot start, but Milwaukee would like to see what the 24-year-old is capable of under the bright lights. Not to mention, he has performed at a very high level in 14 starts this season with Triple-A Nashville. Hellweg is 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings.
It will be interesting to see how one of the organization’s top-ranked prospects handles his first big league start. Hopefully, he can take advantage of the great opportunity and bolster the confidence of the fan base.