If you are like me, and noticed the link on Brewers.com that read: “Brewers claim Estrada, designate Dillard,” a chill shivered down your spine, as you instantly thought of former Brewers’ catcher Johnny Estrada. Fortunately, it was Nationals’ starting pitcher Marco Estrada, a RHP, that will replace RHP Tim Dillard on the 40-man and possibly even in the Sounds’ rotation.
The 26 year-old Estrada replaces the 26 year-old Dillard primarily based on the recommendation of former Syracuse Chiefs’ pitching coach Rich Gale…who was Estrada’s pitching coach last year for the Chiefs, the Nationals AAA affiliate. Gale was hired in October to be the Sounds’ 2010 pitching coach, replacing Chris Bosio, who was made the advance scout for the Brewers.
Estrada’s 9-5, 3.63 numbers at Syracuse are not overwhelming…but certainly better than Dillard’s 11-7, 4.51 mark for the Sounds. Dillard, thought to be a prime candidate for the Brewers’ starting rotation back in 2008, as seen his stock drop over the past two seasons…including not even getting a call-up in September. McCalvy’s article indicates that the Brewers’ would like to see Dillard come back, but, as Dillard is out of minor-league options, will likely opt for free agency and try his like elsewhere.
Estrada will likely report to AAA Nashville and become a middle of the rotation starter, joining Chris Narveson, and possibly Josh Butler, Chris Capuano, and/or Mark Rogers for the Sounds’ 2010 rotation. Mike Burns, Nick Green, and Chris Cody also hope to get another shot with Nashville in ’10.
My take–this is a win-win for the Brewers…it seemed that Dillard blew his chance at becoming a Brewer last season, so at least Estrada would seem to represent an upgrade in the sense that he may turn out to make the parent club’s starting rotation in ’11 or beyond.