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Brewers add journeyman Zagurski to bullpen

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- The Brewers added a new player to the merry-go-round at the back end of their bullpen Thursday in left-hander Mike Zagurski, a 35-year-old journeyman who is back in the big leagues for the first time in nearly five years.

The club purchased Zagurski's contract from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned Adrian Houser back to that affiliate, a day after Houser pitched two scoreless innings of a 5-4 loss to the Royals at Miller Park. It followed a pattern for the Brewers, who have shuttled a collection of pitchers back and forth between the Majors and Minors in that spot to give manager Craig Counsell a fresh arm.

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CINCINNATI -- The Brewers added a new player to the merry-go-round at the back end of their bullpen Thursday in left-hander Mike Zagurski, a 35-year-old journeyman who is back in the big leagues for the first time in nearly five years.

The club purchased Zagurski's contract from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned Adrian Houser back to that affiliate, a day after Houser pitched two scoreless innings of a 5-4 loss to the Royals at Miller Park. It followed a pattern for the Brewers, who have shuttled a collection of pitchers back and forth between the Majors and Minors in that spot to give manager Craig Counsell a fresh arm.

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"It maybe goes a little unnoticed, those guys in that so-called 'revolving door' have been pretty darn good when they've come up here," Zagurski said. "I think that's pretty relevant. You certainly want to get to the big leagues and stay for 10 years like everybody assumes happens for everyone, but those guys have had great attitudes. I've been able to play with all of those guys now, and when they come down, they go right back to work and be ready to be the next one up.

"It's good to be a part of it. It's certainly nice to be on the inside. Hopefully I can contribute the same way those guys have."

Zagurski was a 12th-round Draft pick of Philadelphia in 2005 and appeared in the Major Leagues in 2007 and from 2010-13 with the Phillies, D-backs, Pirates and Yankees, last appearing with New York on Sept. 15, 2013. Zagurski has a 7.05 ERA in 89 appearances at the Major League level.

He's been an effective pitcher in the Minor Leagues and in Japan since then, including this year when he escaped the altitude of Colorado Springs. Zagurski logged a 1.06 ERA with a .138 opponents' batting average in 17 road appearances, and overall he held left-handers to a .224 average (11-for-49) with one extra-base hit.

It was good enough for a ticket back to big leagues.

"It's certainly been a long time. It's great," Zagurski said. "You compare things to the first time you were called up. It kind of takes you back to that day."

Zagurski will join Brewers left-handers Josh Hader and Dan Jennings this weekend in Cincinnati against a Reds team that features Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler swinging from the left side.

He took the 40-man roster spot and uniform number (48) previously occupied by lefty Boone Logan, who was designated for assignment last week.

"It wasn't lefty-related. He was just throwing the ball well," Counsell said. "I will say that because we went down on the roster, it opened up [the choices to] a bunch of different guys."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Mike Zagurski