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Davies expects return after one rehab start

Right-hander K's 9 for Class A Wisconsin; Pennington retires
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Davies expects his next start to be in a Brewers uniform after a successful test of his right shoulder in a rehab start at Class A Wisconsin on Saturday.

Davies, on the disabled list with rotator cuff irritation, struck out nine while allowing two hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings of the Timber Rattlers' 1-0 win at home against Burlington. Davies racked up those strikeouts on just 56 pitches, 44 of which were strikes.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Davies expects his next start to be in a Brewers uniform after a successful test of his right shoulder in a rehab start at Class A Wisconsin on Saturday.

Davies, on the disabled list with rotator cuff irritation, struck out nine while allowing two hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings of the Timber Rattlers' 1-0 win at home against Burlington. Davies racked up those strikeouts on just 56 pitches, 44 of which were strikes.

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"I think it will be just the one rehab start, but I'm not sure where I'm going to fit in with the rotation," Davies told reporters in Grand Chute, Wis. "They've got some planning [to do] and some time to set me up in the spot that they need to."

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The Brewers have decisions to make with Chase Anderson (illness) coming off the DL on Monday against the D-backs and Davies following soon after. Manager Craig Counsell said the team would wait until Davies clears his between-starts bullpen session before making a decision about where and when he will slot back in.

Davies will rejoin the team on Monday at Miller Park. The earliest he would pitch for the Brewers is Thursday at home against the Mets.

"I had a good mix of everything today," Davies said. "I made sure I got that in. I didn't want to leave anything out and not feel prepared for my next start. So I got a mix of everything, accomplished everything I wanted to [in terms of] pitch count, sequencing, everything. It's just up from here."

Did he expect nine strikeouts?

"No. I was expecting them to swing early, and they were pretty patient, for the most part," Davies said. "It was a little bit different than expected, but I was able to get through 4 2/3 at the pitch count I wanted to. … I feel really good. Everything feels crisp. Everything feels back to normal. Stamina, the bite to the curveball and changeup, it's there. It's promising, and it's a nice confidence-builder."

Prospect Pennington retires
He already endured one Tommy John surgery out of high school and another elbow surgery in 2016. Now, in need of a second Tommy John repair, Brewers pitching prospect Josh Pennington opted to retire from professional baseball on Saturday.

Pennington, 22, was one of the prospects acquired along with third baseman Travis Shaw in a December 2016 trade that sent Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox.

"The past four years have been a grind of non-stop physical therapy to work back from injury after injury," Pennington wrote on Instagram. "And now with another major surgery -- a second UCL reconstruction -- needing to be done and a very uncertain comeback, I've decided that it's time to move on with my life.

"For those who truly know me they will understand the heartbreak this decision brings for me, but baseball will never define who I am. Who I am as a man, brother, son and one day who I am as a father and husband that will define me."

Pennington pitched two innings this season at Class A Wisconsin before re-injuring his elbow.

"Josh has put in a tremendous amount of work with our medical and rehab staff to return from several significant injuries. Unfortunately, he suffered another setback," Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said. "We know this is a difficult decision, but we are fully supportive of Josh and wish him the best as he moves forward."

Betancourt released
On Saturday, the Brewers released Minor Leaguer Javier Betancourt, the middle infielder who was shot near his left elbow in an incident in Venezuela over the offseason. Betancourt had worked his way back to playing games in extended spring training, but the Brewers did not have a spot for him in their system, Flanagan said.

Betancourt was acquired from the Tigers with a player to be named later in David Stearns' first trade as Brewers general manager in November 2015. That player to be named later wound up being Manny Pina, who is now Milwaukee's starting catcher.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Zach Davies