Robert Gasser, Brewers No. 5 prospect, set to make MLB debut

MILWAUKEE — Triple-A Nashville manager Rick Sweet tried to slow the news, but one of the Brewers’ best pitchers was savvy enough to know he was headed to the big leagues.

Left-handed starter Robert Gasser, Milwaukee’s No. 5 prospect, joined the Brewers on Thursday and is expected to make his major league debut Friday night against the Cardinals at American Family Field.

Gasser made three starts this season for Triple-A Nashville, posting a 5.25 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. He was placed on injured reserve to begin the Minor League season after suffering bone spurs in his elbow during spring training.

“I’m excited, for sure,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “We told ‘Gas’ in spring training before the injury, ‘You’re going to pitch in the big leagues, so get ready for your debut.’ … There’s some swing and miss there. There’s a balance there that I think rivals righties and lefties.

The 24-year-old was acquired by the Brewers at the 2022 trade deadline as part of a four-player package from the Padres for reliever Josh Hader. He will fill a vacancy in Milwaukee’s rotation with DL Hall (left knee sprain), Jakob Junis (head, right shoulder) and Wade Miley (Tommy John surgery) among the Brewers pitchers currently on the IL.

The Brewers have already employed nine different starting pitchers during a grueling start to the season in the athletic training room, but a 10th is needed Friday as ace Freddy Peralta serves a five-game suspension following a win heated against the Rays on Milwaukee’s field. last stay at home.

With Peralta out for another day on Friday, Gasser is hoping to get the green light. The Brewers will have to make roster changes to add him to the 26- and 40-man rosters.

“As a Triple-A member, you’re always one step away, one call away,” Gasser said. “I was throwing the ball well last year and I felt really good this spring and I knew they had a lot of confidence in me.”

He certainly would have been in the big leagues sooner if not for the appearance of a bone spur in his elbow. In another era, a pitcher might have surgery to shave the spur, but now it often goes the rehabilitation route and the body adapts.

Asked today about the health of his arm, Gasser replied: “Great, honestly. »

He was already overhauling the Cardinals’ hitters Wednesday as he prepared to join the big league team for the first time. On Thursday, he was fully immersed in pregame preparations as the Brewers opened their four-game series against the Cards with another recent call-up, Tobias Myers, getting the start.

Gasser will have family and friends on hand, including his father, Jim, who was once a Brewers draft pick. This was Robert Gasser’s first call after hearing the news, but he missed the call because he was at the dentist.

“Rick Sweet called me and they were trying to slow me down, but I had an idea what was going on,” Robert Gasser said. “They just let me know that my next start would be in the big leagues.”

This marks the culmination of a pitching development that began when Gasser was drafted in the second round by the Padres in 2021.

“It’s just about who I am as a pitcher and how I can get outs,” he said. “The behind-the-scenes stuff and the technology that we have really helped me, and having people around me who know that my stuff works and help me implement good sequences for hitters to get them use it to the best of my ability.”

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