May 30: The Brewers announced the selection of Small’s contract. The 40-man roster had a couple of vacancies, meaning no corresponding move was required in that regard. As for the active roster, Mark Mathias was optioned but then designated as the team’s 27th man for today’s doubleheader.
May 29: The Brewers are set to call up left-hander Ethan Small, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link). It is the first big league promotion for Small, the 28th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Small isn’t on the Brewers’ 40-man roster, so multiple other moves will be forthcoming to create a spot for Small before his official call-up.
Now that Aaron Ashby has lost his prospect status, Small is widely considered to be the best pitching prospect in Milwaukee’s farm system — MLB Pipeline ranks Small as the Brewers’ seventh-best minor leaguer overall, while Baseball America ranks him ninth. Both outlets are particularly fond of Small’s changeup, a 60-grade pitch that nicely complements his lower-velocity (low 90s) but high-spin fastball. Beyond these two plus offerings, however, Small doesn’t have a primary third pitch, as his curveball and slider are nothing special and thus not prominent parts of his arsenal.
Between the lack of a third pitch and some control problems, it remains an open question about whether Small can make it as a starting pitcher or if the bullpen is his ultimate destination. That said, Small’s bottom-line results in his brief pro career have been impressive, as he has a 1.78 ERA and 31.95% strikeout rate over 136 2/3 innings in the minors, starting all 33 of his appearances.
This includes a 1.88 ERA over 38 1/3 innings at Triple-A Nashville this year, which was enough to convince the Brew Crew that Small was ready for the majors. With a doubleheader coming up tomorrow against the Cubs, Small might receive just the one spot start before heading back to Nashville, though Brandon Woodruff is dealing with a bad ankle.
If Woodruff has to miss his next outing or has to be placed on the injured list, it could provide Small with a longer opportunity to show that he can do against MLB hitters. Since Freddy Peralta is also going to be missing a big piece of the 2022 campaign, Small might now take over that “sixth starter” depth role, since Ashby has moved into the rotation.
MIN also promoted Royce Lewis. He is in today’s starting lineup.
Small was an easy call up with a double header tomm….
Especially against the crappy cubs
This guy has some pretty impressive minor league stats. Low ERA, high K rate but he walks a ton of people. That can be dangerous in the majors, but Milwaukee had excellent pitching coaches so hopefully they can get his wildness under control. If they do, Milwaukee could turn this guy into a weapon on the mound like they did with Freddy Peralta.
Bud Selig Fan
His SL has improved since the end of last year so he now has 3 pitches he can get outs with. Expecting him to get big-outs for this team this season.
Superstar Prospect Wander Javier
I say this knowing it will be misconstrued, but Small reminds me a lot of Clayton Kershaw.
They both seem to have sandy colored hair.
Congrars, Ethan. No small feat.
This article sounds like it was written by a guy who just reads that stat pages and not watched this kid . Take your top 100 rankings and blow them. He will be a damn good starting pitcher. Milwaukee has Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta, Houser, Lauer, Ashby, and Small. Any of these pitchers can be a 1 or 2 on any squad just by watching them you can see it. Better yet they are proving with performance. Milwaukee system is completely underrated. They also have 4 to 5 bullpen arms in the minors that could help any other team right now. I’m not just a big Brewers fan which I am but a baseball fan .
Houser is not a 2. He is a 3 on a playoff team and happens to be a great 5 for MKE. Small has a lot to prove before being called a TOR starter. Could he be? Sure. But you cannot anoint him quite yet
Ashby, Houser, Lauer and Small (who hasn’t pitched in majors yet) are all 1’s or 2’s? Yeah, you’re not biased at all.
Ashby definitely has top end rotation potential. Houser is a #3. Lauer is absolutely a #1 or #2 over the past 2 years (stats play that out). Small will likely slot longterm as a BP guy in a crucial role.
Bud Selig Fan
Disagree Small is a bullpen piece long-term. His stuff is way better than given credit for & now that he has a 3rd out pitch with his SL he should eventually be mid-rotation or maybe even better. Extremely deceptive & crafty.
Later this year, when Peralta eventually makes it back & if they enjoy good starter health with the rest of the rotation, having Small & Ashby pitching multi-innings out of the bullpen should make this the best pen in the game.
This comment sounds like it was written by a guy who just is a big Brewers fan.
Oh, it was.
Brewers only have like 38 on the 40 man roster so I don’t think there is another move coming.
Yeah i think that should say a corresponding move to the big club roster, either Woody to the IL or someone getting sent down, not the 40 man…unless hes taking Perdomo’s place (I’m falling behind myself with all the injuries this past week+).
During doubleheader they get to add one player so won’t need to send someone down till Tuesday . So my guess he gets added Monday
That’s right. I was thinking if they called him up today. Foul tip for me.
All good we all have slip ups .
I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Josh lindblom gets added to the 40 (they have the space) and gets a call up for tomm also… he could eat some innings…
I expected another pitcher for today. Guess we get Mathias instead. Pen is in good shape after yesterday except Suter might be unavailable. Just hope we have a lead late, otherwise CC will avoid using Box, DW or Hader which makes the pen not so deep.
A small move.
Probably to late to get an answer, but does this burn one of the 5 option assignments for Mark Mathias? Since he was optioned then immediately designated as the 27th man?
That’s a great question…. I wouldn’t think so do to the doubleheader but does anyone know the answer to this?
I’m wondering why not just add Small as the 27th man and save all the confusion, red tape, and so on.
John Rocker Fan Club
A small victory
Good to see this right wing wacko get his butt kicked today. Hope he continues to fail hard.
I wonder if he wants a s’more.
doesn’t seem ,like a big move
Just wondering if Small will get another promo this year…
Maybe he stays up next time as a long reliever if there are no openings in the rotation??