Brewers pitcher Espino to make major-league debut vs. Cubs

The Milwaukee Brewers struck gold with Junior Guerra a year ago, might they do the same with Paolo Espino?

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The Brewers announced that the veteran minor leaguer will be called up to start Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

The 30-year-old Espino, who was signed in the offseason as a minor-league free agent, will be making his major-league debut. A 10th-round draft choice of Cleveland in 2006, Espino has pitched 291 games in the minors, with 191 starts.

In seven starts with Colorado Springs this season, Espino has sparkled, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.54 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 39 innings in seven starts. He’s walked just five batters while striking out 40. Despite making five starts in home run friendly Colorado Springs, Espino has allowed just one home run.

The Brewers had an opening on the 40-man roster after Jhan Marinez was designated for assignment earlier in the week and had an a spot in the rotation after manager Craig Counsell indicated Wily Peralta will be moving to the bullpen.

Espino’s time in Milwaukee could be short as Guerra, who emerged as the Brewers’ best starter last year at the age of 31 despite just four innings of MLB experience, is due back soon off the disabled list. Guerra suffered a calf injury opening day.

Milwaukee plays at Chicago on Friday at 1:20 p.m. The game will be televised by FOX Sports Wisconsin.