With Manny Parra getting sent down to AAA Nashville last week, they created the need for a 5th starter in their rotation. Due to numerous off days, the Crew won’t need a 5th starter again until next Saturday, the 27th, for a home game against the Giants.
Although rumors abound about Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin signing Pedro Martinez or trading for Mariners’ starter Erik Bedard, Melvin also worked with Don Money and the Sounds’ rotation to give him two additional options for next Saturday.
Prior to Parra’s demotion, the Sounds’ rotation was: Tim Dillard, Mike Burns, Lindsay Gulin, Chase Wright, and Chris Cody; last Wednesday, Parra got the start for the Sounds in Cody’s place in the rotation…and Cody was bumped back two nights, getting the start on Friday night, bumping Burns back a spot in the rotation.
So why all the changes? To give the Brewers a number of options for their 5th starter. If the Brewers opt to go to AAA for their 5th starter, ideally they’d prefer to have that starter pitch on Monday night, or to maintain their usual four days’ rest routine; however, the Sounds have an off night on Monday, making this weekend’s starters in line for the start or call-up.
Mike Burns is, in my humble opinion, the best option for the #5 spot with the parent club. Burns is 7-2, 2.69, with a 1.02 WHIP, with 44 K’s to 11 BB’s heading into Saturday evening’s start against Round Rock. Burns will start on Saturday on five days rest…and would start next Saturday for the Crew on six days rest–a bit more than typical for both starts. Burns is also already on the 40-man roster as the result of him being called up to Milwaukee earlier this year to replace Jorge Julio, and made one relief appearance where he went 4 innings and allowed just 4 hits and 0 ER’s against the Marlins.
Lindsay Gulin, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for the Sounds, is 3-3, 5.37, and has walked almost as many as he’s fanned (37:40); I’m guessing that the thinking was to have Burns start on Saturday night versus Sunday, so as not to have his last outing in AAA and before deciding based on six days rest, and then having to start in the majors on just five days rest.
Chris Cody, Friday night’s starter, is 2-1, 1.69, but has only made 3 starts for Nashville after having been called up from AA Huntsville just a few weeks ago; Cody is likely the second choice for the #5 starter, and might eventually get the call if Burns is not ready or proves ineffective in Milwaukee.