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Miley joins Crew ahead of Wednesday debut

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Wade Miley was in position to join the Brewers' rotation out of Spring Training before he injured his groin fielding a bunt in the final week of camp.

Three rehab starts at Double-A Biloxi gave the veteran left-hander a chance to further refine the mechanical adjustments he made over the winter. Miley, who joined the team in Cincinnati on Tuesday, says he feels great and is ready to hit the ground running.

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CINCINNATI -- Wade Miley was in position to join the Brewers' rotation out of Spring Training before he injured his groin fielding a bunt in the final week of camp.

Three rehab starts at Double-A Biloxi gave the veteran left-hander a chance to further refine the mechanical adjustments he made over the winter. Miley, who joined the team in Cincinnati on Tuesday, says he feels great and is ready to hit the ground running.

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"I had two Spring Trainings, so to speak," Miley said. "I started feeling good a week after I left Arizona and got to Biloxi. But it's a process. I knew I had to build back up. I was just a little antsy. We kind of slow-played it, but they played it right."

Miley is scheduled to make his Brewers debut on Wednesday night when he faces the Reds in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

He went 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA with Biloxi, including six shutout innings and 11 strikeouts in his final outing Friday.

"The third (rehab start), I pretty much felt like I was commanding four pitches and moving it back and forth," Miley said. "The one before, I was having a little trouble locating. I was throwing strikes, just wasn't throwing quality pitches and there was damage."

Video: OAK@MIL: Miley leaves game with injury in the 5th

Miley, a former All-Star and Rookie of the Year candidate with the D-backs in 2012, is looking to bounce back after posting a 5.48 ERA in 323 1/3 innings over the last two seasons with the Mariners and Orioles. He issued a Major-League worst 93 walks in 2017.

"He walked a really high number of guys last year," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's the mechanical thing he had to address in the winter. He addressed it. That question really was answered during his first bullpen."

His Spring Training numbers were a bit skewed by one outing, ironically against the Reds, when he allowed seven earned runs in three innings, otherwise he had a 2.12 ERA in his other five appearances, including four starts.

"He had a good Spring Training," Counsell said. "If he didn't get hurt, he was going to make the team."

To make room for Miley, the Brewers designated for assignment right-hander Oliver Drake who last pitched on Saturday in Chicago. Drake was 1-0 with a 6.39 ERA in 11 appearances, skewed by his outing on April 16 when he gave up six earned runs against the Reds in an inning.

"He's probably had nine very effective outings," said Counsell. "With the roster and the bullpen, we're kind of out of moves. Unfortunately, it's Oliver."

Miley is 3-2 in seven career starts against the Reds with a 3.68 ERA.

"Mechanically, I feel like I'm in a good spot," Miley said. "A lot better than I was. Just excited to get back out and compete at this level. Hopefully, I can fill in and take off. No hiccups, just keep it going."

No Hader of history:
Brewers left-hander Josh Hader was still basking in the glow of his eight-strikeout performance on Monday night, the historical significance of which he didn't become aware of until hours afterward.

Hader was the first pitcher in modern Major League history (since 1900) to produce as many as eight strikeouts in a game in fewer than three innings pitched. He retired eight of nine batters faced via strikeout and issued one walk over 2 2/3 innings in the Brewers' 6-5 win.

Hader said he was inundated with text messages and calls from friends, family members and well-wishers.

"There definitely was a lot of love," Hader said.

Video: Must C Classic: Hader K's 8 in 2 2/3 IP for 4th save

The last pitcher to record a save with more than eight strikeouts was Randy Johnson on Aug. 13, 1996. But that was a four-inning save. Only one other time has a pitcher faced no more than nine batters and fanned eight. On May 4, 1981, Ron Davis of the Yankees got a three-inning save against the Angels and threw three perfect innings with 8 K's. Hader is also the first pitcher to record eight or more outs with all of them coming via strikeout.

"I didn't really know it was that crazy," Hader said. "It's an honor. Those guys are some of the best ever. That's what I strive for, to be as good as those guys one day. I just strive to be the best I can be every day. Just stay within the moment."

Hader had the baseball from the final out hidden in his locker under his glove on Tuesday, but had yet to get it authenticated.

Counsell was at a loss for words, less than 24 hours later. "I've run out of superlatives," he said.

After his dominant 2 2/3 innings Monday, Counsell said Hader is unavailable to pitch in Tuesday's game.

Roster moves:
Brewers outfielder Brett Phillips was recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Colorado Springs, and right-hander Brandon Woodruff was optioned back to Triple-A.

"It gives us another position player here," Counsell said. "Brandon wasn't going to pitch today. We've got a bunch of right-handers coming up. Kind of a live roster spot."

Phillips batted .288 in 21 games for the Sky Sox. It's his second stint this season with the Brewers.

Injury updates:
Right-hander Corey Knebel is expected to make his first rehab start for Double-A Biloxi on Thursday. He's on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury. Counsell said he'll make three or four rehab starts.

Catcher Stephen Vogt, on the DL with a right shoulder injury, will play for Biloxi on Wednesday.

Jeff Wallner is a contributor for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Milwaukee Brewers, Wade Miley