Results tagged ‘ Mike Burns ’

Swindle called back up; Burns demoted

You can officially scratch Mike Burns’ name off the list of possible Brewers starters for Tuesday.

The team optioned the right-hander back to Triple-A Nashville on Monday ahead of a four-game series against the Washington Nationals and promoted reliever R.J. Swindle, giving manager Ken Macha two left-handed specialists to play with in the bullpen.

Swindle allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings over two brief stints with the big-league Brewers this year but has been nearly unhittable at Nashville. In 31 relief appearances there, he has a 1.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Left-handed hitters are hitting .148 against Swindle, who elicits oohs and ahhs with his super-slow curveball.

Burns was largely ineffective after promotion to the starting rotation. He was 2-3 in five starts with a 7.20 ERA, prompting the Brewers to remove him from the rotation. As of this morning, Macha still hasn’t named his starting pitcher for Tuesday, prompting all sorts of trade speculation.

Macha will almost certainly have to offer an answer today.

Brewers to "take a look" at Backe

The Brewers will do their due dilligence on right-hander Brandon Backe, the former Astro who was designated for assignment last week and refused a trip to Houston’s Triple-A club on Monday.

Backe, 31, missed two months with an oblique injury and then didn’t pitch well in four relief appearances and one start for Houston, allowing 21 hits, 15 earned runs and five home runs in 13 innings. He’s due $1.55 million this season, but his new club would only be responsible for a prorated portion of the $400,000 Major League minimum.

“You have to at least take a look,” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said.

That comment came before Brewers right-hander Mike Burns, one of two new additions to Milwaukee’s starting rotation over the past week, put together a strong outing against the Mets.

The Astros acquired Backe in December 2003 and his best moments came in the postseason over the next two years. In Game 5 of the 2004 National League Championship Series, Backe held St. Louis to one hit over eight scoreless innings in a game the Astros won on Jeff Kent’s walk-off homer in the ninth. He held St. Louis to two hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings in Game 4 of the 2005 NLCS and delivered in the World Series that year, throwing seven scoreless innings against the White Sox in Game 4.


100276794_548c83c4eb.jpgBrewers PR boss Mike Vassallo channeled his inner “Simpsons” fan and suggested to the scoreboard crew that they use audio of Mr. Montgomery Burns for every strikeout by new starter Mike Burns.

Burns just struck out Joe Mauer to end the top of the first inning, and they pulled it off.

Say it with me: “Excellent.”

Love it. I hope he strikes out 20.

Bush to DL; MRI reveals triceps injury

Dave Bush’s right arm is not just tired, it’s injured. And the Brewers right-hander was placed on the disabled list Tuesday for the first time in his career.

An MRI scan on Monday revealed a micro-tear at the base of Bush’s right triceps, the same spot he was struck by a Hanley Ramirez line drive in Florida earlier this month. The Brewers promoted right-hander Mike Burns from Triple-A Nashville to join the starting rotation beginning Thursday against the Twins.

The Brewers will need another new starter on Saturday to replace left-hander Manny Parra, who was demoted to the Minor Leagues on June 13 and will remain there for at least a few more starts. Manager Ken Macha said he wouldn’t reveal that choice until Wednesday, but it will probably be Seth McClung, who has been a key cog in the bullpen this season.

Bush has never missed an outing due to injury, going all the way back to his Little League days. That streak will end Thursday.

“That part is disappointing,” Bush said. “It’s not a relief to know I’m on the DL, but it’s a relief to know I wasn’t out of my mind for thinking something wasn’t right. At the same time I was hoping the doctor was going to say, ‘Look there’s nothing wrong. You just have to work your way through it.'”

What to do about Dave Bush?

Dave Bush revealed after the Brewers’ 9-5 loss Detroit today that he’s been dealing with some arm fatigue since that line drive off his elbow earlier this month in Florida. That at least explains his recent results, but now the Brewers have to figure out what to do about it.

Bush threw only 51 pitches against the Tigers and would make his next start on Thursday against the Twins unless the team makes an adjustment.

There are options. The Brewers have been working with four starters since demoting left-hander Manny Parra to Triple-A Nashville on June 13, but will need another arm by June 27. The team could easily promote a fresh arm from the Minors to take Bush’s place on Thursday  — say, right-hander Mike Burns, who worked four scoreless innings in his only appearance for the Brewers this season and would be on regular rest. Bush, then, could rest up and start against the Giants next weekend.

The team made a similar move with right-hander Jeff Suppan in April after the veteran got off to a poor start, and it appeared to help. Had Parra not pitched himself down to the Minors, Macha said the Brewers would have probably used someone in Bush’s place on Saturday.

“These few days off could have done a little but [for Bush] like it did for Suppan,” manager Ken Macha said. “But with four starters at this time, we’re unable to do that.”

Macha and general manager Doug Melvin will meet in Milwaukee on Tuesday to discuss the options. Bush said he would let the decision-makers do their jobs.

DiFelice activated, Burns sent down

Mark DiFelice was back in the Brewers’ bullpen Tuesday night for the opener of a week-long homestand, while Mike Burns was headed back to Triple-A Nashville.

The team reinstated DiFelice from the bereavement list on Tuesday afternoon after the right-hander played catch in the outfield with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger. DiFelice was placed on the temporary bereavement list last Wednesday night to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Philadelphia, but he was also inactive last week because of tightness in his right elbow.

To clear a spot on the active roster, the team optioned Burns back to Nashville. He was called-up during the team’s just-completed road trip as a replacement for Jorge Julio, who was released, and worked four scoreless innings in his only Brewers appearance on June 2 at Florida.

In sending out Burns, the Brewers opted to keep Chris Smith, another right-hander promoted during the last trip. Smith, who had been closing games at Nashville before his call-up, had yet to appear for the Brewers entering the homestand.

“Burns gave us ‘length’ out there,” said Macha, referring to Burns’ ability to pitch multiple innings since he was a Nashville starter before his promotion. “We’ve got [Seth] McClung to give us length right now. We want to see how Smith reacts to the Major League thing, see what we have.

“I would have liked to pitch [Smith] in Atlanta, but all three games were tight so we went with our best guys. He’s pitched very well at Triple-A, so we want to see how that translates up here.”

Brewers cut ties with Julio, call on Burns

The Brewers added a fresh arm to their sagging bullpen on Tuesday when they promoted journeyman right-hander Mike Burns from Triple-A Nashville and released Jorge Julio after a brief and mostly ineffective tenure with the team. 

The Brewers owe Julio what’s left of his $950,000 salary but apparently ran out of patience with the former Orioles closer. Julio was charged with five runs in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Marlins without recording an out in the sixth inning, an outing that boosted his ERA to a staff-worst 7.79. He allowed 15 hits and 15 walks in 17 1/3 innings and hit four batters, including Florida’s Jorge Cantu on Monday night to force home the go-ahead run.

Burns, 30, is a veteran of 45 relief appearances with a 5.88 ERA for the Reds, Astros and Red Sox in 2005 and 2006. He was 6-2 with a 2.98 ERA at Nashville this season and was 6-0 before losing his two most recent starts.

The Brewers had to add Burns to the 40-man roster. He is wearing No. 47 in the big leagues and will be in uniform Tuesday night, when Manny Parra faces the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium.

UPDATE at 2:40 p.m. CT — I just noticed that Gord Ash “tweeted” the corresponding move for Nashville. Left-hander Chris Cody, who was 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Huntsville, earned a promotion.

Burns tops list of possible bullpen call-ups

The Brewers are expected to promote a pitcher from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday to bolster a suddenly-thin bullpen, and it could mean a return to the big leagues for journeyman Mike Burns.

Brewers officials said they would wait until Tuesday to make a move, but manager Ken Macha’s bullpen needs immediate help. Right-hander Mark DiFelice is out at least one more day with a sore elbow and Macha would like to give fellow righty Seth McClung another day off after working three innings on Saturday against the Reds. Another right-hander, Jorge Julio, continued to slide on Macha’s depth chart after he surrendered five runs and the lead without recording an out in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Marlins.

Brewers relievers worked three innings on Monday and have pitched 11 2/3 innings in the last three days. Tuesday’s scheduled starter is left-hander Manny Parra, who has worked 10 innings over his last two starts.

Burns, 30, and a veteran of 45 Major League relief appearances for the Reds, Astros and Red Sox in 2005 and 2006, is 6-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 starts this season for Nashville. He was 6-0 before losing his last two starts, and could be an attractive addition to a bullpen in need of an innings-eater. Burns has 40 strikeouts versus 11 walks in 63 1/3 innings this season. 

The Brewers could also recall left-hander R.J. Swindle, who has already pitched two stints with the Brewers this season, but the Marlins are stocked mostly with right-handed hitters. Right-hander Tim Dillard would have been an attractive choice, but he pitched seven innings on Sunday.

The Brewers would have to add Burns to the 40-man roster, and would also have to have to make a clear a spot on the 25-man roster.

Since the Brewers are somewhat thin on the infield in the wake of Rickie Weeks’ season-ending wrist injury and could also be thin in the outfield if center fielder Mike Cameron misses time with a flare-up of tendinitis in his left knee, Julio’s spot could be in jeopardy. He has walked 15 batters in 17 1/3 innings this season.

“I’ve said this a bunch, we have a bunch of extra guys and they come out and have a certain role they need to fill,” Macha said. “It’s the same with the pitching staff. You just can’t operate with 24 guys. Everybody has to be a contributor.”