Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz
The doubt seems to have been erased as to whether onetime Wichita starter Junior Guerra, the converted catcher, belongs in the major leagues and in Milwaukee’s rotation.
The Brewers have won all five of the ’11, ’13 Wingnuts hurler’s starts, and he has a 3-0 record with a commendable 3.30 earned run average after going the first five scoreless innings in a 3-2, 13-inning triumph over Atlanta Wednesday.
“He put zeros on the board,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told MLB.com. “It’s good when a guy can pitch like that (without his best stuff).” The time before against the consensus best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs, the 31-year-old Venezuelan native had the best of his starts–and eight total major league appearances–when he collected 11 strikeouts in a career-high 113 pitches in seven strong innings of the 5-3 Milwaukee victory.
Guerra’s split-finger fastball was superb against the lethal Cubs. “It’s a good pitch and it plays off his other stuff very well,” Counsell told Milwaukee’s Sentinel Journal. “It plays off his fastball very well. He’s got enough velocity on his fastball to keep them honest.”
Three seasons removed from the American Association, Guerra has given up only three earned runs in his last three starts, a period covering 18 innings. He has allowed only 11 hits in that span while striking out 21 and bringing his season log to a strikeout per inning (30 innings, 30 strikeouts).
Previously the chief spokesman for 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 as well as writing his own blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.