JUNE 1: Milwaukee has officially selected Alexander’s contract, optioning Luke Barker to Triple-A Nashville in a corresponding move. To create 40-man roster space, they’ve transferred reliever Jake Cousins from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list.
Cousins went on the IL on May 1 with an elbow effusion, and he’ll now be out of action through at least the end of July. It seems unlikely he’ll be back when first eligible anyhow, as he recently told Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter link) he received a platelet-rich plasma injection and would be shut down from throwing entirely for at least a month.
MAY 31: The Brewers are planning to start right-hander Jason Alexander tomorrow night against the Cubs, tweets Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He is not yet on the club’s 40-man roster, so the Brew Crew will have to make a corresponding move.
Alexander, 29, is set to make his MLB debut. The younger brother of former Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander, Jason Alexander went undrafted in 2017. He signed with the Angels as a free agent, working his way as high as Triple-A but never getting onto the 40-man roster. Los Angeles released him in 2020, and he hooked on with the Marlins the following April.
The California native made just six appearances in the upper levels of the Miami farm system as he missed some time due to injury. He signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee in December and has spent the first couple months with their top affiliate in Nashville. Over nine outings (seven starts), Alexander has worked to an excellent 2.64 ERA through 47 2/3 innings. His 17.5% strikeout rate is below-average, but he’s posted a hefty 63.3% ground-ball rate and only walked 6.3% of opposing hitters.
Milwaukee has been hit by a couple key rotation injuries of late, forcing them to dip into their starting pitching depth. Both Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff have landed on the injured list, forcing Aaron Ashby into regular action alongside Corbin Burnes, Eric Lauer and Adrian Houser. The fifth spot is uncertain, with well-regarded prospect Ethan Small making a spot start yesterday during a doubleheader. Alexander will now get a chance to audition for a role himself.