MILWAUKEE — Another day, another new starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Right-hander Brock Stewart becomes the ninth pitcher to start a game for the Dodgers this season — and fourth to make his MLB debut — when he takes the mound Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
The move wasn't formally announced before Los Angeles opened its three-game see at Milwaukee on Tuesday, but Stewart had apparently already been informed and shared the news on Twitter.
“I'm so incredibly fortunate to say that the dreams I've had since I was a young boy have come true,” he tweeted. “I got the call!!”
Stewart, the Dodgers' sixth-round draft choice in 2014, has been on a tear this season. He opened the year with Class A Rancho Cucamonga and after two starts (one earned run, 11 innings pitched), was promoted to Double-A Tulsa, where he started nine games and posted a 1.12 ERA. That was enough to earn another promotion, this time to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he went 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts and struck out 27 in 18 2/3 innings.
“It's all just happened really fast,” Stewart told The Oklahoman after making his Triple-A debut. “I've been just having a good year, and everything's working for me so far. I can't really pinpoint what's caused all of the success, but it's definitely been a whirlwind. I'm here for a reason, they believe in me so it's all about me going out there and showing I can compete at this level.”
Milwaukee counters with its own rookie, 31-year-old right-hander Junior Guerra, who faces the Dodgers for the second time this season.
He took no decision on June 16 after allowing five runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings then rebounded later in the week, holding Oakland to two runs on five hits over seven innings for his fourth career victory.
Not much was expected from the 31-year-old when he was claimed off waivers from the White Sox last winter. Once a prospect in the Mets and Phillies system, he spent several years in unaffiliated baseball — including stints in Mexico, Italy and with Wichita of the independent American Association — but has since emerged as a workhorse in the Brewers' rotation.
“Right now, nothing's guaranteed,” Guerra said. “All you can do is keep working hard, keep doing your thing, keep doing your job and give your team a chance to win.”
Milwaukee hopes Guerra can not only snap a two-game losing streak but also get the starting rotation back on track. Brewers starters had combined for a 2.65 ERA over six games before Chase Anderson was tagged for six in four innings of work Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.
Los Angeles may have to go without center fielder Joc Pederson, who bruised his right shoulder crashing into the wall Tuesday night.
“Sounds like day to day, so hopefully get on some anti-inflammatories, knock it out,” Pederson said. “It's just a bruise, we have great trainers, get some treatment and be back in no time.
“But it's a big relief that the X-rays came back negative. Can't do anything about a broken bone.”