Brewers finalize call-ups
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers finalized their September call-ups following Monday's 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh, recalling right-hander Johnny Hellweg and first baseman/outfielder Sean Halton from Triple-A Nashville and selecting the contract of right-hander Jimmy Nelson from the Sounds.
Two of Milwaukee's three top prospects according to MLB.com, Nelson and Hellweg will give Brewers fans a glimpse into the team's future over the final month of the season. Hellweg will join the starting rotation for the Brewers, while Nelson will initially pitch out of the bullpen.
"We have it mapped out," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who wouldn't reveal his rotation past Wednesday, said. "We'll go to a six-man rotation. He's going to be a little more than just his normal five-days rest."
Hellweg, 24, is 0-3 with a 10.97 ERA in four games and three starts for the Brewers this season. Milwaukee's third-best prospect according to MLB.com, Hellweg made his major-league debut in June. He was acquired from the Angels along with shortstop Jean Segura and Double-A right-hander Ariel Pena in the Zack Greinke trade last July.
After struggling in the big leagues, Hellweg went back down and allowed just one earned run in 38 innings between June and July. A 5.81 August ERA raised his season ERA to 3.15, but he still won Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year with a 12-5 record.
Command has always been Hellweg's issue, as he walked 13 in 10 2/3 big-league innings this season. He had 81 walks to go along with 89 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings for Nashville.
Nelson, the top-rated prospect in the organization by MLB.com, will make his major-league debut whenever he first appears for the Brewers. Milwaukee's second-round pick out of the University of Alabama in the 2010 first-year player draft, Nelson is 10-10 with a 3.25 ERA in 27 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
The 24-year-old was 5-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 12 starts for Huntsville before being promoted to Nashville in June. Nelson pitched a scoreless inning for Team USA in the Futures Game in July.
"I expect to use him in relief," Roenicke said. "Later on we will see where we are. If we can slide him in to get him a start, that'd be good. I'm not sure yet."
Halton, 26, has hit .218 with a home run and six RBI in 24 games for the Brewers this season. He made his major-league debut on June 27, but was sent back down in late July. Halton hit .300 with four RBI over five games in his last stint with the Brewers, filling in while Milwaukee waited for Caleb Gindl's requisite 10 days in the minor leagues expired.
The right-hander will give Roenicke another option at first base when the Brewers face a left-handed pitcher, as Yuniesky Betancourt is currently the only choice. Milwaukee opted to go with Halton, who hit .273 with 11 HR and 51 RBI in Triple-A, over first base prospect Hunter Morris.
Since his demotion to Triple-A on Aug. 21, Halton is hitting .135 with just four RBI.
Gorzelanny injured: Brewers left-hander Tom Gorzelanny left Monday's game after just two pitches with left shoulder tightness.
Making his first appearance since moving back to the bullpen, Gorzelanny allowed a leadoff single to Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton in the seventh inning and had to be removed from the game.
"He couldn't get loose," Roenicke said. "A little bit of cuff irritation, but he should be day-to-day. He has a little weakness there and a little irritation. I don't think he will have to be shut down."
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