CHICAGO -- After waiting a decade for Friday's big league debut, Brewers right-hander Paolo Espino will have to wait a bit longer to take the mound in the Majors again.
With Opening Day starter Junior Guerra nearing a return from the disabled list, the Brewers optioned Espino back to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon and called up a bullpen arm. Tyler Cravy, who made news with a candid response to missing the cut at the end of Spring Training, will be on hand when the Brewers and Cubs close out their series at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
With his father present after making the trip from Panama, Espino, 30, pitched four proficient innings against the Cubs in rainy, cold conditions on Friday night before he was replaced by a pinch-hitter amid a go-ahead, fifth-inning rally. With Guerra scheduled for the second of his two Minor League rehab starts on Saturday, Espino knew it might be his one and only outing for now.
"Finally, the moment came," he said. "I'm happy, excited, and I will never forget it."
Players who are optioned can move freely between the Majors and Minors, so Espino potentially could pitch for the Brewers again this season.
Cravy, meanwhile, will try to pick up where he left off last season. He posted an 0.81 ERA in 18 relief outings for the Brewers, fueling his frustration when he was left off Milwaukee's Opening Day roster this year at the end of a solid Spring Training.
Cravy lashed out at Brewers decision-makers in comments he later walked back via a Twitter post, vowing instead, "I will continue to work hard and let my performance do the talking."