The Milwaukee Brewers, mired in a season-long five-game losing streak and just 1-9 in their last 10 games, have recalled right-hander Jimmy Nelson to start Saturday’s nationally televised game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the move Thursday evening.
The Brewers, whose lead over the Cardinals could be down to a single game by the time they open their three-game series with St. Louis on Friday, were scheduled to start Marco Estrada on Saturday afternoon.
Estrada’s 4.96 ERA is by far the highest in the starting rotation and his 27 home runs surrendered are eight more than anyone else in baseball this season.
Opponents are slugging .498 this season against Estrada, the highest mark in the National League and the second-highest in baseball, ahead of only Ricky Nolasco of the Minnesota Twins.
Estrada was demoted to the bullpen and rookie left-hander Wei-Chung Wang was placed on the disabled list with elbow tightness. Wang, a Rule 5 draftee from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, has to remain on the active roster all season or risk being offered back to the Pirates; however, he is past the deadline in which a DL visit triggers that option.
Nelson, meanwhile, has dominated the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League at Triple-A Nashville.
He pitched seven scoreless innings in his last start on Monday and is 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA and 0.919 WHIP for the Sounds, making 16 starts and one relief appearance and throwing 111 innings with 114 strikeouts.
He pitched 5.2 scoreless innings in his only big-league start this season, picking up his first major league win on May 25 in Miami.
The Brewers have used only six starters this season, with Yovani Gallardo missing the May 25 start against the Marlins because of an ankle sprain.