Dillard: No hard feelings about bullpen assignment
Tim Dillard is happy to be back in the big leagues, no matter his role.
The Brewers essentially passed on Dillard when they decided to pull Carlos Villanueva out of the bullpen to make Tuesday’s start against the Nationals at Miller Park. Dillard, a starter all season at Triple-A Nashville with very good results — 10-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 starts — said there were no hard feelings.
“I’ve been starting the whole year, but, obviously, they know what’s best for the team,” Dillard said. “‘Villa’ has been a guy who can do it all. He’s got four pitches he can throw for strikes at any one moment.”
Dillard, meanwhile, is a fastball-slider guy. His best pitch is a low 90s fastball with considerable sink.
“Dillard is kind of limited in his pitches,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, adding
that he expected Dillard to pitch on Tuesday in relief of Villanueva. “His secondary pitches
aren’t as refined.”
The 26-year-old Dillard — he celebrated a birthday last week — had pitched exclusively as a reliever from midway through the 2007 season through the end of 2008, including 13 big-league appearances with the Brewers last year. But he was asked to convert to a starting role at the end of 2009 Spring Training.
In his most recent outing for Nashville, Dillard allowed one hit in an eight-inning complete-game shutout. Many — including Villanueva himself — expected that Dillard would be tabbed to start Tuesday.
Instead, Dillard will be in the bullpen. He was prompted from Nashville on Sunday and arrived just before game time.
“You’d rather be here [in the Major Leagues],” he said. “If this is what they want me to do, than this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to be happy doing it. No matter what my role is, I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team. It’s a good team, and I’m kind of privileged to be here, actually.”