Updated: Melvin on Jeffress' demotion
Thanks to the guys at Brewerfan.net for noticing that the Brewers demoted 21-year-old right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, universally considered Milwaukee’s top pitching prospect, from Double-A Huntsville to Class A Brevard County.
Jeffress has been completely out of whack in his last four starts, allowing 19 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings (that’s a 15.08 ERA for those scoring at home) and issuing 21 walks versus nine strikeouts. Compare that to Jeffress’ first four starts of the year, in which he allowed only four earned runs in 16 innings (2.25 ERA), with 12 walks and 22 whiffs.
Here’s what Doug Melvin had to say about the move on Wednesday: “There’s nothing wrong with him physically. He’s in a slump, and it’s better to go to a level where he can have some success. You try to put people in a position where they can have success and gain confidence back. He’s still young. Last year, when we moved him up, he never had a year in A-ball. It goes back to pushing guys before they accomplish the level.”
Mike Jones, who used to hold the “top pitching prospect” title before a series of arm injuries derailed his career, took Jeffress’ spot at Huntsville. Jones, who turned 26 last month, was 4-0 with a 4.06 ERA in seven starts at Brevard County.
Melvin said Jones has been clocked at 90-91 mph on his fastball and that he had altered his delivery. When he was drafted, Jones threw 95 mph with a slow, smooth motion. With his velocity down because of the injuries, he has shortened his motion to keep hitters off-balance.