Call it addition by subtraction.
A day after surrendering 4 earned runs without retiring a single hitter, Milwaukee has cut ties with Jorge Julio Tuesday. The release comes in the wake of the reliever’s 15 miserable appearances that left him with a 7.79 ERA. Mike Burns has been promoted from triple-A Nashville to take Julio’s roster spot.
I’ll admit that on December 6, 2008 – I wrote in support of the Brewers signing Julio.
“I applaud Brewers GM Doug MelvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision to take a flier on Julio in 2009.”
“Prone to collapse? Yes. On his last leg? Possibly. On the fast track to be MilwaukeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s closer? Jesus balls, I hope not. But a troubled hurler with the chance to be a solid middle relief or even setup man? I really think he could be.”
Whoops. But even my optimism over a cheap acquisition came with a twist of reality.
“At worst, Jorge Julio resumes his downward spiral and Milwaukee is out some skrill and drops a close game or two early on.”
Evidently, the worst has happened. The Brewers front office gambled and lost, yet still have a 30-21 record to show for it.
Now, allow me to introduce Mike Burns. The 30-year-old righty has spent 10 seasons in the minors as part of the Brewers, Cubs, Reds, Red Sox and Astros systems. He’s posted a 6-2 record and 2.98 ERA over 63 1/3 innings for Milwaukee’s triple-A (Nashville) affiliate this season.
In 52 careers innings of Major League service time, Burns has a less-impressive 5.88 ERA. Even if Burns’ MLB suckiness continues in Milwaukee, he’s making less than Julio, has significantly pitched better than Julio this season and can be demoted at any point to make room for the next variable in an equation for a solid Brewers bullpen.
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