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Brewers call up Guerra, Lopez; option Phillips

Hoover designated for assignment to make room for pitchers
Special to MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers called up right-hander Junior Guerra from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start Wednesday's game against the Cardinals.

In addition, right-hander Jorge Lopez was recalled from Colorado Springs, outfielder Brett Phillips was optioned back to Triple-A, and right-hander J.J. Hoover was designated for assignment. The Brewers' No. 6 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline, Phillips had been summoned to replace the injured Christian Yelich, who is nursing an oblique strain.

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ST. LOUIS -- The Brewers called up right-hander Junior Guerra from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start Wednesday's game against the Cardinals.

In addition, right-hander Jorge Lopez was recalled from Colorado Springs, outfielder Brett Phillips was optioned back to Triple-A, and right-hander J.J. Hoover was designated for assignment. The Brewers' No. 6 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline, Phillips had been summoned to replace the injured Christian Yelich, who is nursing an oblique strain.

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"It's a fresh arm today," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We put J.J. in a tough spot yesterday, and that's unfortunate. He was up quite a bit, and he went an inning-plus. The closeness of all these games has led to a lot of this as well."

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Guerra, the Brewers' 2017 Opening Day starter, got the win in his 2018 debut, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings in Milwaukee's 3-2 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday. The 33-year-old hurler went 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts in '16 but struggled last season, going 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 21 games (14 starts).

Video: Top Prospects: Brett Phillips, OF, Brewers

Lopez has not given up a hit in 2 1/3 innings at Colorado Springs. Counsell said he is available to go multiple innings.

The Brewers' bullpen has been taxed, throwing 52 2/3 innings over the first 12 games of the season. Most of that has come in high-leverage situations. In its last nine games, Milwaukee has held a multiple-run lead for just one inning.

The biggest help for the Brewers' bullpen could come from their bats.

"I feel like we are playing certainly competitive baseball, and it's exciting baseball, its edge of your seat baseball at times, but to make some of this stuff easier on everyone, I think scoring more runs is at the start of it for me," Counsell said.

Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Brewers on Wednesday.

Milwaukee Brewers