Hellweg earns PCL Pitcher of the Year honors
PITTSBURGH -- Named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday, right-hander Johnny Hellweg is scheduled to make one more start for the Nashville Sounds before a critical September callup to the Brewers.
Though Hellweg struggled during an earlier stint in the Majors -- 0-3 with a 10.97 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance, with 19 hits and 13 walks in 10 2/3 innings -- he carved through Triple-A, going 11-5 with a 3.16 ERA and a league-best .226 opponents' average in 22 starts for the Sounds. He owns a 10-1 record in his last 15 starts.
"Hopefully he can come up here and do the same thing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Roenicke declined to say where Hellweg would initially fit onto a roster that already has five healthy starting pitchers. Club officials have discussed using a six-man rotation after Sept. 10, when the Brewers begin a season-ending stretch of 20 games in as many days.
Hellweg is the fourth pitcher in the Sounds' 36-year franchise history to capture his league's Pitcher of the Year honor, and only the second since the team has been affiliated with the Brewers. The other was R.A. Dickey in 2007, when Dickey was just beginning his conversion to a knuckleballer.
Hellweg is one of three players acquired in July 2012 from the Angels for right-hander Zack Greinke, and while Greinke now pitches for the Dodgers, all three new Brewers are enjoying successful seasons. Brewers shortstop Jean Segura made the National League All-Star team, leads the league in stolen bases and ranks second in hits, and Double-A Huntsville right-hander Ariel Pena owns a 3.87 ERA in 26 starts.
"I think being up here and at least experiencing the atmosphere should help [Hellweg] when he comes back, as long as he doesn't think of the negative parts of it," Roenicke said. "It should help him."