The youth movement has reached Milwaukee. The Brewers are calling up left-hander Josh Hader, their No. 3 prospect, for his Major League debut, the team announced Friday afternoon. Paolo Espino was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room on the 25-man roster.
The youth movement has reached Milwaukee.
The Brewers are calling up left-hander Josh Hader, their No. 3 prospect, for his Major League debut, the team announced Friday afternoon. Paolo Espino was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room on the 25-man roster.
Milwaukee did not indicate what role Hader would assume when he joined the club, but it's likely that he'll initially be used out of the bullpen with the Brewers having Zach Davies, Junior Guerra and Chase Anderson slated to start the next three games. No starters have been announced for a Tuesday doubleheader in St. Louis, and it's possible Hader could get the start in one of those two games.
The 23-year-old has been used as a starter in all 12 of his appearances with Colorado Springs this season, although that role has evolved of late. Hader got the ball first in each of his last outings but went only two frames in an effort to keep his innings down.
It's been a rough return to the Pacific Coast League for MLB.com's No. 33 overall prospect, who had a 5.37 ERA and 1.54 WHIP with 51 strikeouts and 31 walks in 52 innings prior to Friday's promotion. His 7.01 FIP is second-highest among the 37 qualified pitchers in the PCL, while his 13.6 percent walk rate was third-highest. Only Albuquerque's Matt Flemer (15) has allowed more home runs than Hader's 14 this season.
However, the southpaw is highly regarded for his plus fastball and impressive slider that are incredibly effective against same-side hitters. Hader has struck out 15 of the 43 left-handed batters he's faced this season while holding them to a .158 average and .414 OPS. What's more, all 14 of the homers he's allowed have come against right-handed hitters, who are batting .276 with a .969 OPS in 185 plate appearances.
As a result, Hader could be a solid addition to a Milwaukee bullpen that has no other left-handed options. Additionally, his control woes could be corralled in shorter stints.
Hader is the second Brewers prospect to be called up this week. Outfielder Brett Phillips, who was acquired along with Hader from the Astros in the deal for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers in July 2015, was brought up Monday. Phillips was sent back to Triple-A on Thursday but will return to Milwaukee with the news that Travis Shaw was placed on the family medical emergency list.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.