Butler does it again in Fall League
Brewers prospect ties for AFL lead with third win
To say it's been a busy year for Brewers prospect Josh Butler would be a gross understatement. Since January, the 24-year-old right-hander has spent a total of four days at his home in San Diego.
Butler reveals this information not to complain about the lifestyle of an aspiring Major Leaguer but to explain the struggles in his first few outings for the Peoria Javelinas.
"I think more than anything it was staying mentally strong," Butler said of the adjustments that helped him record his third Arizona Fall League victory.
The Javelinas' 3-2 triumph over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Tuesday night tied Butler for tops in the league with No. 1 overall Draft pick Stephen Strasburg.
"I feel fine physically, I felt I was making my pitches, [just] gave up a few big homers," Butler said of the 12 earned runs he surrendered over his first 7 2/3 innings. "It's been a long season mentally and it was starting to wear on me a little bit."
On Tuesday night, Butler allowed only two hits over three scoreless innings, striking out four and walking two to lower his ERA to 10.13 in four AFL starts.
"I wasn't even aware of [the win leaders]," Butler said. "My main goal is to go out and throw well. I was struggling my first couple outings [and] got a couple ugly wins out of them. I was lucky my team picked me up."
The California native went 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA in 24 games across four Minor League levels this summer before getting his first small taste of big league life. Butler made three appearances out of the Milwaukee bullpen in September, allowing four earned runs over four innings.
"Every time I go out, I want to do as well as I can becaues our [general manager] is watching and other GMs are watching," Butler said of his mind-set in the AFL. "You want to impress everyone because you never know [what will happen]."
If the University of San Diego product sounds like he's speaking from experience, well, he is.
Butler was the Rays' second-round pick in the 2006 Draft and spent two years with the club before he was traded for outfielder Gabe Gross three weeks into the 2008 season.
"You never know how long you are going to be with [one team]," Butler said. "But being up in the big leagues kind of gave me that extra little push to do even better and get back up there."
Javy Guerra followed Butler with a scoreless inning and has not given up an earned run over seven innings in seven AFL appearances. Fellow Dodgers prospect Lucas May went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Javelinas.
Giants Minor Leaguer Daniel Turpen struck out three over two innings of hitless relief for Scottsdale, which got two hits, including a solo homer, from Diamondbacks prospect Cole Gillespie.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.