Notes: Gallardo sheds prospect label

Notes: Gallardo sheds prospect label

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yovani Gallardo shed the "top pitching prospect" label when he showed up at the Metrodome on Friday. He was officially a Major League pitcher.

Gallardo was told after Triple-A Nashville's win in Memphis on Thursday afternoon that he had been promoted to the big leagues. He took the place of left-hander Chris Capuano, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a groin strain. Nashville manager Frank Kremblas delivered the news.

"Honestly, I didn't know how to react," said Gallardo, who at 21 became the Brewers' youngest player. "I'm just excited to be here."

Gallardo, a right-hander, went 8-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 starts for Nashville and leads all of Minor League Baseball with 110 strikeouts. If the Brewers can avoid using him out of the bullpen this weekend, Gallardo would make his Major League debut on Monday against the San Francisco Giants.

"If I get to Monday and he hasn't pitched, he'll start," said Brewers manager Ned Yost, whose bullpen was overworked in the just-completed Detroit series. "But I'm definitely not saving him."

If Gallardo is needed in relief, right-hander Carlos Villanueva would start. Villanueva took Capuano's place minutes before Wednesday's game.

The Brewers got their first look at Gallardo in 2006 Spring Training, when he appeared in an exhibition against the Japanese entry into the World Baseball Classic. Gallardo earned a big-league camp invite in 2007, and posted a 7.27 ERA in five spring games, including one start.

He posted much better numbers once he joined a regular rotation in Nashville.

"I'm real satisfied," Gallardo said. "I think I've had a pretty good year, so I'm looking forward to making it better. My goal was to get up here this year, so once I found that out, I was real relieved. Now I have to keep working even harder to stay in the big leagues."

More moves: Gallardo was not the only blue-chip Brewers prospect on the move Thursday. The team promoted Double-A Huntsville left-hander Manny Parra to Nashville to replace Gallardo, and moved Class A Brevard County right-hander Will Inman to Huntsville.

Parra, 24, had shoulder surgery in 2005 but has bounced back, posting a 2.93 ERA in 20 games last season between Brevard County and Huntsville, and going 7-3 this season with a 2.68 ERA in 13 starts at Huntsville. He has struck out 81 batters versus 26 walks.

"He's ready:" That was Yost's view of second baseman Rickie Weeks after another outstanding round of early batting practice Friday. But the team will nonetheless take a cautious approach with Weeks, who is recovering from soreness in his surgically-repaired right wrist.

Weeks will take part in a simulated game Saturday afternoon, mostly designed to provide some work for right-hander Elmer Dessens, who is on the DL with a shoulder injury. Yost said he does not expect Weeks to be activated before Monday.

"It doesn't hurt Rickie to get the live simulated game, see how he bounces back on Sunday and make a move on Monday," Yost said. "We're covered right now. [Tony Graffanino] is swinging the bat well. [Craig] Counsell is swinging the bat well. We need the extra time to sit back and make sure we're making the right decision."

The Brewers likely will send down a position player to clear space for Weeks, and a difficult decision looms.

"There are no easy decisions now, when you have a good team," Yost said. "You do have guys that could use some at-bats or could use some extra innings that they're not getting here, to get them sharpened up. You take all that into consideration."

Yost would not say which way the team was leaning. Entering play Friday, outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. had not played in any of the team's last four games.

Weeks is batting .243 but ranks third on the team with 34 runs scored despite not playing since May 29.

"That will be a big step to see some live pitching," Weeks said.

Nice to see you: Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and former 20-game winner Rick Helling spent some time visiting with Brewers players and coaches before Friday's game. Molitor, who played 15 seasons for the Brewers, and Helling, who played the last two seasons with the Brewers before retiring, both live in the Minneapolis area.

On deck: Right-hander Dave Bush, winless in his last six starts, will take the hill Saturday night against the Twins and right-hander Boof Bonser at 6:10 p.m. CT. Bush lost to Scott Baker and the Twins at Miller Park on May 19.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.