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"A forearm injury in July derailed Junior Guerra’s excellent start to the 2018 season Brandon Guyer Jersey , diminishing the effectiveness of his signature split-finger and eventually leading to his removal from the starting rotation in September. Our hero was able to reinvent himself as a multi-inning reliever down the stretch, however, adding a devastating curveball to his arsenal while allowing only five hits, zero walks, and one run in seven appearances and 10.2 innings out of the bullpen during the final month of the season and into the playoffs. Guerra looked dominant at times while punching out 13 of the 35 batters he faced (37.1%).And now according to Guerra himself, it sounds like the Milwaukee Brewers are planning on having him continue to fill the role that he shined so brightly in down the stretch.Junior recently reported to his Venezuelan Winter League club, Tiburones de La Guiara, and pitched a scoreless one-inning debut against Caracas. Reports began to emerge regarding the restrictions placed on his workload by the Brewers, including pitching only as a reliever, never working on back-to-back days or for more than one inning, and only starting clean innings, not coming in during a high-stress situation caused by a different pitcher. Some of these restrictions are surely due to Milwaukee’s desire to protect Guerra’s arm after he pitched more than 180 innings between Spring Training, AAA, the big league regular and postseason, and Japan All-Star series in 2018 (plus 77.0 innings during the 2017-18 LVBP winter season), but Junior also provided some clarity about his role going forward during a recent interview with the Venezuelan media (translated from has predominantly worked from the rotation during his three seasons in Milwaukee, but the veteran professional is no stranger to pitching out the of bullpen. He was a true swingman while pitching in the minors for the White Sox in 2015, starting 11 games and finishing 15 others (while recording 7 saves) during his 31 appearances between AA and AAA and then making three more outings as a reliever for Chicago at the Major League level. In fact, he has been called upon out of the bullpen in some 150+ games across the various levels and leagues that he’s pitched in professionally.After watching Guerra’s performance to conclude the 2018 season, it’s easy to dream on him becoming something of a right-handed compliment to Josh Hader as a middle-innings fireman in Milwaukee’s bullpen. GM David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell have been pretty open about their desire to continue to “blur the lines” between starter and reliever, which means that even if he’s not toeing the rubber to start games in 2019, Guerra could be in line for a rather significant multi-inning role. Should Counsell and Stearns indeed double down on the 27-outs philosophy that they deployed to perfection during September and October , that would mean plenty of shorter starts and a boatload of innings that need to be eaten up as a bridge to the guys like Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress in the back end of the bullpen.Guerra’s new assignment may mean that the bullpen is pretty well filled out for the upcoming season after the additions of Alex Claudio and Deolis Guerra. It also provides a little more clarity to the starting rotation picture, though there will still be plenty to sort out there once the team arrives in Spring Training. Jhoulys Chacin figures to once again sit atop the rotation, and Corbin Burnes appears primed for a run as a starter after an astounding debut season out of the bullpen in 2018. After that, one would expect there to be competition between Chase Anderson (if he’s not traded first), Zach Davies, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta. Jimmy Nelson is a total wild card coming off shoulder surgery that kept him out all of 2018, but could factor into that mix if he’s healthy. The team is believed to be on the lookout for more outside help in the starting pitching department, as well, having been linked to still available pitchers Dallas Keuchel, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Minor, Wade Miley, Yusei Kikuchi, Sonny Gray, Noah Syndergaard, and Madison Bumgarner at various points this offseason. Even if it isn’t one of these more notable names, it seems quite likely that Slingin’ Stearns and company will augment their starting pitching depth in some major or minor capacity before the caravan heads to Maryvale Baseball Park in February.Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jonathan Schoop responded to a tense situation in the biggest way possible.Schoop hit a grand slam after Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, and Milwaukee beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 on Sunday, completing a series sweep and preserving the Brewers‘ lead in the NL wild-card race.Milwaukee moved within two games of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central heading into a three-game series at Chicago.In the sixth, Madison Bumgarner hit Braun with his third of three consecutive pitches inside to load the bases with two outs. Brewers players came a couple of steps out of the dugout Josh Tomlin Jersey , and manager Craig Counsell was ejected by plate umpire Tom Hallion.Schoop, who had struck out in his first-two at-bats, then drove a 2-1 pitch from Bumgarner (5-6) over the wall in left to make it 5-2. It was Schoop’s fourth homer since being acquired from Baltimore on July 31.“I was a little bit mad, but I calmed myself down a little bit, don’t let the moment get me,” said Schoop, who had a slow start after his trade to Milwaukee but now has 10 RBIs in his last four games. “Just focus, breathe and calm myself down, so I could get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”Bumgarner allowed a first-inning RBI double to Braun and then retired 15 straight before a two-out walk to Christian Yelich in the sixth. Jesus Aguliar singled to left, bringing up Braun. Bumgarner’s first pitch was high and inside, spinning Braun off the plate, and then he threw inside again, triggering a stare-down between batter and pitcher. He then plunked Braun with his third pitch.“I don’t know if he thought I was trying to throw at him or what,” Bumgarner said. “The second pitch was right over the middle of the plate but just up, too much. He looked at me. I don’t know what he is thinking or not thinking, but that didn’t have any kind effect on what I’m trying to do out there.”Milwaukee remained 2½ games ahead of St. Louis for the top wild card spot. The Brewers, who play their next 15 games within the division, completed a 5-1 homestand, including taking two of three from the Cubs.“We’re looking forward to a fun series,” Counsell said. “We’re still behind. We’ve still got to try to put a dent in it and that’s what we’ll try to do.”The Giants, who have lost a season-high eight straight, pulled within 5-3 in the eighth on Austin Slater’s RBI triple. Schoop added an RBI fielder’s choice for the Brewers in the bottom half.Rookie reliever Corbin Burnes (4-0) struck out two of the four batters he faced in the sixth. Corey Knebel retired all four hitters he faced for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.Bumgarner allowed five runs on six hits in six innings Carlos Carrasco Jersey , striking out four and walking one.San Francisco took a 2-1 lead in the fifth against Zach Davies on Gregor Blanco’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Davies allowed two runs on six hits in five innings.Blanco opened the game with his second homer, sending a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall. Braun answered with a two-out RBI double off the top of the wall in left-center.“Obviously, it was a good way for us to respond as a team,” Braun said of the sixth-inning rally. “For Schoopie to hit that grand slam was pretty cool, a cool moment for us. The intensity of the game was fun. I think it’s a good learning experience for everybody, to kind of control your emotions in a big situation and find a way to win the game.”BREWHAHAIn addition to Counsell, Brewers left-hander Wade Miley and reserve catcher Jacob Nottingham were ejected from the dugout in the sixth after warnings were issued to both benches.MILWAUKEE MOVESThe Brewers recalled RHP Freddy Peralta and RHP Taylor Williams from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Both Peralta and Wiliams had been sent down on Aug. 30. Williams is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 50 relief appearances with the Brewers this season. Peralta, who opened the season at Triple-A, is 6-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts with Milwaukee.TRAINER’S ROOMGiants: 1B Brandon Belt, scratched from Saturday’s game with a sore right knee, was not in the starting lineup Sunday, but pinch-hit in the fifth after Ryder Jones injured his left knee while fouling off a pitch. Jones suffered a patellar dislocation, the Giants said. “Bizarre, trust me,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It is unbelievable. … I’ve seen it twice, and both times here. It is a freak accident. It is a shame. A kid getting the chance to play up here, takes a swing and does that.” Bochy said he assumed Jones was done for the year. Jones will get an MRI on Monday.UP NEXTGiants: Rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (6-2, 2.41 ERA) makes his 16th start as San Francisco kicks off a six-game homestand on Monday against the Braves. Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his starts.Brewers: Miley (3-2, 2.12) opens the three-game series on Monday against the Cubs. Since coming off the disabled list on July 12, Miley has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of 10 starts. He is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley Field.

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