It was only a matter of time.
The Milwaukee Brewers are moving former Crowder College ace Aaron Ashby to the Triple-A reliever box to position him for a possible big-league appeal, Nashville manager Rick Sweet told broadcaster. the Jeff Hem team on Tuesday night.
In developing Ashby’s role change, Sweet made reference to Josh Hader, Brandon Woodruff, and Corbin Burnes, all of whom made the same movement of relief under his tenure before receiving a call.
“He’s one of our best people and we think he can help the major league club, at least outside of the pen at the start,” Sweet said in his radio interview. “We see him as a starter, so it’s not a (permanent) passage to the bullpen. We did it with Burnes. We did that a bit with Woodruff as well and Josh Hader. They were all newbies to me, and among those guys, Burnes and Hader went to the reliever box before going to the big leagues. … So it’s a movement for this year. It’s a decision thinking that (Ashby) will be able to help the major league team out of the reliever box, but ultimately he’s a major league starter.
“It will be an easy conversion for Ashby. The first few times we’ll set him up where we know what day he’s going to throw, and after that he’ll become a regular reliever. But he will throw more than one inning. He will be a two-man, maybe a three-man. He’ll be a multi-sleeve guy. “
If you’ve been following Ashby’s progress lately, this decision comes as no surprise.
Ashby, 23, opened her eyes with an electrifying source for the Brewers. The southpaw followed that up with a dominant start in Nashville so far, with a 2.93 ERA in his first six outings this season.
He whipped up an impressive 39 batters in 27 2/3 innings of work.
His last start on June 4 was his best yet, throwing seven two-hit frames against the Charlotte Knights. He struck out 11 batters, a season-high, his record in a game since May 16, 2019 (Inland Empire 66ers, Los Angeles Low-A affiliate).
But his pitch line isn’t what stands out the most.
Ashby was hitting 95-97 mph on his radiator while hitting 98. Being able to maintain that caliber of speed as a starter should propel him into the elite class as a left-handed pitcher prospect.
And how Ashby is just the # 7 ranked prospect from Milwaukee by MLB Pipeline is beyond me.
Ashby’s calling card is his athleticism, and his best pitch is a nasty slider, one of the best breaking balls in the (Brewers system), which highlights a potential five-ball mix and produces swing-and -miss, ”MLB Pipeline screening report said. “He sets up the slider with a 92-95 mph fastball that has ride life and some arm action. Ashby’s change came quickly through the pro ranks, giving him a major caliber third pitch, and he also shows the sense of keeping hitters off balance with a slow curve ball.
“An athletic but awesome delivery adds a layer of deception to anything Ashby throws and makes him especially tough against lefties, who slashed 0.183 / 0.292 / 0.229 against him in 2019. And his athleticism helps disrupt the timing of the games. hitters adding and subtracting with his heights and varying the lift and stride in his delivery. If he keeps his complicated delivery under control, Ashby has the arsenal and the know-how to be a mid-starter. rotation.
News of Ashby’s move to the bullpen came the same day he was named Triple-A East Player of the Week for his performance on Friday.
From Brewers’ perspective, the move makes perfect sense.
The Milwaukee reliever box needs a high leverage reliever, and with Hader relegated to a one inning role as the closer, having an arm like Ashby that can register multiple innings will be key to the game. success of the Brewers.
It would also reduce Milwaukee’s need to trade for a reliever by the July 31 deadline.
Inevitably, Ashby’s call is coming soon and it will be fun to watch the former Roughrider get down to business.