Brewers call up intriguing Triple-A RHP Johnny Hellweg

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have placed right-hander Alfredo Figaro on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique, retroactive to June 24.

Right-hander Johnny Hellweg has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville and will make his major league debut in a start against Pittsburgh on Friday.

Figaro, 28, was injured June 12 in Miami, but has pitched through the injury. He tossed seven shutout innings against the Marlins, but has allowed 10 earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

“It’s something in his side that’s been bothering him,” Roenicke said. “Three starts ago he had a little tangle up on a bunt that he was trying to get out of the box and the catcher got him. We really didn’t think it was anything because he hasn’t been getting it treated, but it bothered him in his last outing.”

Acquired last July in the Zack Greinke trade, Hellweg is 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA in Triple-A. After walking 39 in his first 11 starts for the Sounds, Hellweg has walked just five in his last 20 innings.

The 24-year-old has a 0.82 ERA in his last five Triple-A starts, walking 11 and striking out 17 over 33 innings. Milwaukee has been hesitant to call up one of its top pitching prospects, but the Brewers are running out of options.

Hellweg will be Milwaukee’s 10th different starting pitcher this season, one away from the total number it used all of last season. When the Brewers won the division in 2011, they used just six starting pitchers over the course of the year.

Figaro, who is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 54 1/3 innings this season, joins fellow starters Marco Estrada, Hiram Burgos and Mark Rogers on the disabled list.

“Figaro is hurt, so we need another starter again,” Roenicke said. “If we go to the bullpen and go to (Tom) Gorzelanny, we don’t really have another long guy that can come in and fill those spots.”

Hellweg will start Friday on six days rest, while right-hander Donovan Hand will make his second career start Saturday against the Pirates.

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