8/30/2014 9:07 P.M. ET
Figaro called up to bolster Brewers' bullpen
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Triple-A Nashville's Alfredo Figaro was fast asleep when his phone rang at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. He didn't recognize the number, so Figaro hung up.
When the same number immediately called back, Figaro answered.
The voice on the other line said, "You're going to The Show."
It was Sounds manager Rick Sweet, passing along the news that the Brewers, after being blown out by the Giants at AT&T Park, needed bullpen help. Figaro was summoned to temporarily take the roster spot of Jimmy Nelson, who was optioned to Class A Brevard County in a paper move but will still start against the Cubs on Monday, the date rosters expand.
Figaro's third stint with the Brewers came two days earlier than planned. He would have been one of the Brewers' September callups Monday anyway.
"My teammates asked me, but nobody told me anything so I just started packing my stuff," Figaro said. "I already had my stuff packed to go home."
Instead, his season will continue with a team trying to win a spot in the postseason.
"[We] needed an arm," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who had to burn three relievers including long man Marco Estrada in Friday's 13-2 loss. "We didn't have any length at all."
Figaro had a 3.71 ERA in 40 relief appearances and two starts at Nashville and last pitched Wednesday, allowing two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. In two previous big league stints (one in late April and another in June), Figaro appeared in only two games.
Brewers slot Garza to return against Cubs
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Garza will rejoin the Brewers' rotation Wednesday at Wrigley Field, one calendar month after coming out of a start in St. Louis with a left rib-cage strain.
Instead of saying whose spot Garza will take, manager Ron Roenicke suggested the Brewers may stick with six starting pitchers for at least one turn through the rotation in September. The team is at the start of 17 games in as many days and does not have a scheduled off-day until Sept. 15.
"If we do it for one time through, it works out pretty good," Roenicke said. "And it gives some guys six days' rest at the end. I still think we look good out there as far as physically, but at the end of the season you never know. So if an extra day helps, maybe we'll do it that way."
Jimmy Nelson, who was optioned to Class A Brevard County in a paper move Saturday that allowed the Brewers to bring in bullpen help, is scheduled to travel to Chicago on Sunday ahead of an afternoon Labor Day start against the Cubs. Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to start Tuesday before Garza's turn Wednesday.
Statistically speaking, extra rest has been a wash this season. Brewers starters are 33-22 with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP in 74 games with four days off between starts. Entering Mike Fiers' outing Saturday, they were 33-19 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.257 ERA in 60 games on extra rest.
"Plus, if all the guys are throwing well, it's kind of hard to say, 'Hey, you're out of there,'" Roenicke said. "So that's why we look at it and see what we think is the best."
One more factor: Giving Nelson another start after Monday would push Gallardo's subsequent start to Sept. 8 against the Marlins, meaning Gallardo would miss a four-game series against St. Louis at Miller Park. He is 1-11 with a 6.45 ERA in 17 career starts against the Cards, including no decisions and a 6.35 ERA in two starts this season.
• The Brewers entered Saturday on a three-game losing streak, with the players occupying the top three spots in the batting order combining to go 2-for-35 with one RBI and one run scored.
Obviously, Roenicke is hoping for a turnaround there.
"It makes a big difference" he said. "You ask the first couple to set the table and try to get on base for your 3-4-5, so hopefully, consistently, they do that through a season. It's going to be like anybody else; you're going to go through your dry spells with them, but hopefully one of the two will be hitting and then you're OK."
When they all go cold at once, "You see, that's what happens with our offense," Roenicke said.