Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Milwaukee Brewers
news

Brewers News

Jeffress to rejoin Crew, nears activation

Guerra earns first career save; Brewers acquire catcher Freitas
April 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress is set to join the Brewers on Monday when they return to Milwaukee and will be activated either then or on Tuesday, manager Craig Counsell said before Sunday’s series finale with the Dodgers. Jeffress, who dealt with shoulder weakness during Spring Training, made

LOS ANGELES -- Right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress is set to join the Brewers on Monday when they return to Milwaukee and will be activated either then or on Tuesday, manager Craig Counsell said before Sunday’s series finale with the Dodgers.

Jeffress, who dealt with shoulder weakness during Spring Training, made his fourth rehab appearance with Triple-A San Antonio on Saturday night. He threw one inning and struck out two batters while allowing a pair of hits, including a home run.

“We’re going to meet before the game and discuss some pitching things,” Counsell said. “We’ll make a decision tomorrow. It’ll either be Monday or Tuesday.”

Jeffress allowed seven earned runs on nine hits -- three of which were home runs -- and struck out five across 4 1/3 innings during his rehab assignment. How a rehabbing pitcher feels physically is always more important than the results, though Counsell wouldn’t entirely write off Jeffress’ suboptimal stats.

“I don’t think [the results are] meaningless,” said Counsell. “His results have not been good. He has pitched better than some of the results. He has given up some home runs. Some of it has been the conditions. We’ve got to see him pitch. He is healthy, we know that. The results haven’t been great. For what he has done, you do take it a little differently. But you also have to be aware of it.”

More encouraging than the numbers was Jeffress’ velocity, which is in line with where the Brewers want it to be.

“It has been good,” Counsell said. “It was down a little bit after the back-to-back [outings, on Tuesday and Wednesday]. I think we’ll see what we saw last year in April when he takes the mound. I’m confident in that. He has been there in his rehab assignment.”

Although the Brewers’ bullpen has managed reasonably well without two of its key arms in Jeffress and Corey Knebel -- who is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery -- getting Jeffress back anywhere close to his 2018 All-Star form would be a big boost. However, Milwaukee won't expect that immediately.

“It’s going to be a process to get him where we want to get him,” said Counsell. “If we get a good pitcher back, that’s a good thing.”

Guerra celebrates first career save
Counsell called it in Spring Training: Junior Guerra was going to log a Major League save at some point in 2019.

It happened Saturday night, when Guerra pitched two clean innings to close out a 4-1 win over the Dodgers on a night when left-hander Josh Hader was unavailable. It marked another career first for Guerra, who has pitched all over North America, Latin America and Europe in every imaginable capacity before finding a home with the Brewers in October 2015.

How did teammates celebrate his career milestone?

“I got a shower today -- beer shower,” Guerra said. “It’s cold. Too cold. But it’s OK. The team is happy right now.”

With Jeffress working back from his shoulder issue and Knebel out for the year, Guerra has been a vital piece of the Brewers’ early-season bullpen puzzle. Saturday was his biggest assignment to date.

“It’s a big difference, because you go on the mound with big responsibility,” Guerra said of pitching in a save situation. “You have to throw the best you’ve got in that moment.”

It was some of his best stuff this season, Counsell said.

“You could just tell by the swings the right-handers were taking that the sinker was really moving,” Counsell said. “They were hitting some weird foul balls back toward their dugout, almost. That’s the sign of a really good sinker. And he had a little extra juice in that ninth inning. There were some 96s up there in the ninth inning. He was excited.”

Brewers acquire Freitas
The Brewers received catcher David Freitas from the Mariners on Sunday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Sal Biasi. Freitas was added to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster but was immediately optioned to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster for Freitas, the Brewers moved Knebel to the 60-day injured list.

Freitas, 30, has hit .214/.270 /.313 with one home run across parts of three Major League seasons. He appeared in one game for the Mariners this year before being optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. In six Minor League games, Freitas has hit .278 (5-for-18) with two doubles, five RBIs and five walks vs. six strikeouts.