Following Thursday’s loss to the San Diego Padres at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers optioned 1B/OF Sean Halton to the Class-AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds.
Halton had a relatively successful, if mostly innocuous, MLB debut. He posted a .200/.217/.311 slash line in 45 at-bats over parts of 19 games. He had three extra-base hits including his first career home run to go along with a pair of doubles. His K/BB ratio was a poor 13/1.
A hitter was sent down because the Brewers wanted an extra bullpen arm as they continue in a stretch of 14 games in 13 days.
Getting the call was a player who will be making his Major League debut: Rob Wooten.
Wooten, who just turned 28 years old five days ago, is listed at 6’1″ tall and 210 lbs. He was also listed daily as Nashville Sounds manager Mike Guerrero’s closer.
With a 2.94 ERA and 20 Saves across 52.0 innings pitched in 40 appearances this season, Wooten was selected as a Pacific Coast League All-Star this year. It’s a well-deserved bit of recognition. Wooten has posted some good supporting numbers in 2013 as well, with a 6.9 H/9, a 7.8 K/9, a 3.75 K/BB and a 1.000 WHIP.
Wooten should work in middle relief with a chance to assume 7th inning duties if he performs well. He’d have to overtake Brandon Kintzler for that job but with Kintzler’s ability to work multiple innings on occasion and his propensity for escaping inherited jams, Ron Roenicke could decide to keep Kintzler in reserve some nights as his bail out fireman.
A 13th round draft pick back in 2008, Wooten has been steadily progressing through the Brewers system. And unlike some college relievers whom the Brewers have drafted lately, he’s never started a game at the professional level. What he has done in 212 combined MiLB appearances is post a 2.88 ERA in 278.1 IP, allowing 98 runs (89 earned) while posting a 1.132 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 3.65 K/BB, and a 0.5 HR/9. Yup, since 2008, Wooten has allowed just 15 total home runs. He’s also compiled 78 career MiLB Saves.
A decision was coming this December anyway on Wooten who would have been eligible for the Rule V Draft had he not been added to the 40-man roster. So with a desire for a bullpen arm and a really available spot, why not give the kid a chance to see what he can do against some MLB hitters?