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Hader excited for first Major League callup

Left-hander will come out of Brewers bullpen initially
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The Brewers called up Josh Hader, the top left-handed-pitching prospect in baseball, from Triple-A Colorado Springs before Friday's opener against the D-backs at Chase Field..

Hader, rated the Brewers' No. 3 prospect and No. 33 overall by MLBPipeline.com, was brought up as Milwaukee optioned right-hander Paolo Espino to Triple-A. The 30-year-old has made two starts for the Brewers this year, posting a 5.63 ERA over eight innings.

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PHOENIX -- The Brewers called up Josh Hader, the top left-handed-pitching prospect in baseball, from Triple-A Colorado Springs before Friday's opener against the D-backs at Chase Field..

Hader, rated the Brewers' No. 3 prospect and No. 33 overall by MLBPipeline.com, was brought up as Milwaukee optioned right-hander Paolo Espino to Triple-A. The 30-year-old has made two starts for the Brewers this year, posting a 5.63 ERA over eight innings.

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"It's exciting," Hader said. "It's one of my dreams come true. You just take it all in and enjoy it."

As for Hader's role with the team, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said on Friday that he plans to use the southpaw out the bullpen, for now, although the club still projects him as a starter moving forward.

"We're definitely going to use Josh out of the bullpen, and then we'll see how that evolves," Counsell said. "That's what we anticipate early on. It's a transition for him. We pitched him [in the Minors] two innings the last couple of times. We shortened him up a little bit.

"We think this is the best way for him to have a quick impact. We'll see how it goes, but the long-term [goal] of the organization is to get him back to starting."

Hader said he didn't care whether he started or came out of the bullpen. He will fulfill a lifelong dream to play in the Major Leagues, and he's just happy to be here. His next appearance will be his Major League debut.

"Whenever I'm given the ball is when I'm pitching," Hader said. "It doesn't matter to me at all. My job is to get outs. Whenever that is, whether it's starting or bullpen, I've got to get outs."

Hader has struggled at Triple-A this season, going 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA in 12 starts, but he struck out 51 in 52 innings and is coming off a pair of scoreless appearances. His fastball zips at 93-97 mph and is supported by a wipeout slider and deceptive delivery.

"I've dreamed about this since I was 3 years old when I started playing," Hader said. "It was what I always wanted to do. I've always been a pitcher. I hit every now and then, but it was nothing I ever wanted to do. You can see why."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Milwaukee Brewers, Josh Hader