Writers covering the Milwaukee Brewers have dug deeper on the significance of Junior Guerra‘s 9-3, 2.81 record for 20 starts as a 31-year-old rookie before he was shut down because of the workload. They came up with some mighty intriguing finds.
The Wichita Wingnuts hurler from 2011 and 2013 is expected to earn some Rookie of the Year votes because of having the best earned run average among rookie starters in the National League, and he is only the fourth Brewers starter since 2000 to work 100 or more innings with an ERA below 3.00. The other three were Ben Sheets at 2.70 in ’04, Jeff D’Amico at 2.66 in ’00 and C.C. Sabathia at 1.65 in ’08. More exclusively, only one rookie since the Divisional play era started has worked more than Guerra’s 121.1 innings at the age of 31. That was Hisashi Iwakuma, who got 125.1 innings for Seattle four years ago.
Most importantly of all, SBNation.com believes the Venezuelan native has firmly staked “his claim to a spot atop the Brewers’ starting rotation for next season…and with five years of club control remaining Junior’s surprising ascension could help spur a quick return to competitive baseball here in Milwaukee.”
Pretty lofty words for someone who had all of four innings of major league experience prior to this season.
Onetime Lincoln and Wichita Outfielder Helps Israel Qualify for 2017 WBC
Reinforcements from major league rosters with the likes of Joc Pederson, Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler and Kevin Pillar seems certain to change the makeup of Team Israel for World Baseball Classic pool play in South Korea next March, but regardless of the final 25-man roster former Lincoln and Wichita outfielder Blake Gailen contributed to last weekend’s winning effort in the regional qualifier played in Brooklyn.
The 31-year-old Gailen, a .406 hitter in 69 games at Lincoln in 2011, had a two-run homer in the fifth inning to start the scoring and tallied another run in Israel’s 9-1 blitz of Great Britain in the championship game. He went 1-for-2 with two walks. Gailen played at Wichita in 2008, his first full season out of UNLV.
Israel manager Jerry Weinstein told The Jerusalem Post it will be hard to pick from all the eligible players and telling some from the qualifying roster that they’re off the team. “I feel very loyal to the group of guys that got us here,” Weinstein said. “Regardless of physical ability, we have an obligation to the players that made the commitment to be here for this tournament.”
Gailen was among at least half a dozen players with Independent Baseball experience on the team that helped Israel go 3-0 in the competition at Brooklyn. Onetime Fargo pitcher Tyler Herron, now in the New York Mets minor league system, was listed on the roster although he did not see action.
Adleman Crimps St. Louis’s Hopes
Former Lincoln and El Paso reliever Tim Adleman threw a giant wrench in the St. Louis Cardinals postseason plans Monday night.
Adleman, the 6-foot-5 righty who spent 2012 in the American Association, started and worked a career-high seven innings in St. Louis, limiting the Cardinals to a pair of runs as his Cincinnati teammates maimed the host’s pitching staff in a 15-2 rout which kept them off the wild-card pace in the National League scramble.
The 28-year-old retired the first 10 batters he faced, and allowed only four hits (no walks) in improving his rookie major league record for 12 starts to 3-4 with a 3.90 earned run average.
“It’s a huge credit to this offense (Cincinnati) the way they swung the bats against a quality starter on a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot in their home ballpark, is really impressive,” Adleman told MLB.com. “It really made my job a lot easier. Kudos to them.”
Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and his book, “The Passion of Baseball”, launches October 5 .