Manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday that Burnes will pitch out of the bullpen for "a little while," Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
Burnes was a late addition to the roster Wednesday to cover the move of Chase Anderson (finger) to the injured list, and ended up taking the loss as he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over two innings versus the Rockies. The young right-hander was originally expected to work out the kinks as a starter in the minors after giving up 11 home runs in four major-league starts, but will instead move back to the bullpen following the signing of veteran lefty Gio Gonzalez. Burnes had a 2.61 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 35:11 K:BB over 38 innings out of the bullpen for the Brewers last season, but he still has some work to do in order to regain that form.
Burnes was called up from Triple-A San Antonio on Wednesday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
Wednesday's scheduled starter Chase Anderson was a late scratch due to a finger laceration, and apparently the Brewers placed him on the injured list before the game and recalled Burnes, though no announcement was made until after first pitch. According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Burnes was originally scheduled to be activated for Thursday's game, but the team received approval for the last minute roster move.
Burnes was optioned to Triple-A San Antonio on Friday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
Manager Craig Counsell was noncommittal about Burnes' next start after Wednesday's outing, so it's not a major surprise to see him headed to Triple-A. The 24-year-old has a 10.70 ERA and 2.15 WHIP, and gave up a whopping 11 home runs in his four starts (17.2 innings). He did record 24 strikeouts, but that was mitigated somewhat by eight walks. The Brewers undoubtedly will hope Burnes can iron things out at San Antonio and return to the big-league rotation at some point this season, but if the club adds starting pitching via trade or free agency he could also resurface in the bullpen, where he had success in 2018.
Burnes struggled again in his fourth start of the season, which came Wednesday against the Cardinals, allowing five runs in 3.1 innings while serving up two more homers. The young right-hander has now allowed 11 long balls through 17.2 innings this season, while his ERA and WHIP sit at 10.70 ERA and 2.15, respectively. As such, the Brewers have yet to decide if Burnes will remain in the rotation for another turn, with Chase Anderson, Adrian Houser and Aaron Wilkerson representing possible options to replace him. Burnes excelled in a long-relief role with the Brewers last year, posting a 2.61 ERA in 38 innings, though it's unclear if he would shift to the bullpen or head to the minors to remain stretched out should he lose his rotation spot.
Burnes gave up five runs on nine hits -- including three home runs -- over 4.1 innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers on Friday night. He struck out three and walked two.
Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson all went yard against Burnes, who has now given up three homers in three consecutive starts, matching the major-league record. Burnes' fastball has been getting absolutely clobbered this season, to the tune of a .429 average and .952 slugging percentage according to BrooksBaseball.net. Manager Craig Counsell told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com after the game that Burnes will start again in five days (home against the Cardinals), but Burnes is clearly on shaky ground in the starting rotation.
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