MILWAUKEE -- In the short term, the Brewers needed a fresh arm to help simulate at-bats for returning second baseman Rickie Weeks. In the long term, the team obviously sees right-hander Mike Fiers as a part of its future.
Those concurrent factors delivered Fiers to the big leagues on Saturday, when the Brewers purchased his contract from Triple-A Nashville. He threw a 35-pitch session to Weeks, and will be available in the bullpen beginning Tuesday against the Rockies.
"This has been my dream since Day 1," Fiers said.
Fiers is coming off a breakthrough season split between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville in which he pitched
-- Fiers' fastball often sits in the high 80s -- his way to a 13-3 record with a 1.86 ERA in 18 starts and 16 relief appearances. At Nashville, the Brewers' top Minor League affiliate, he was simply sensational, going 8-0 with a 1.11 ERA mostly as a starter, including a three-hit shutout on Aug. 30.
The Brewers' faith in his future was telegraphed in the timing of the callup to Milwaukee. Fiers, 26, a 22nd-round Draft pick in 2009, did not have to be protected on the 40-man roster until after the 2012 season. By adding him Saturday, the Brewers started his clock.
"He just went out there this year and did some dealing," said Don Money, Fiers' manager at Triple-A Nashville. "He throws all of his pitches over for strikes. He's not an overly hard thrower, but I always talk to the third basemen, and they say, 'This guy is pretty good. I can't see his ball.'"
Fiers did not see the promotion coming. He pitched Nashville's season finale on Monday, then drove home to south Florida on Tuesday and began his offseason. On Friday morning, Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash called and told him to repack and catch a flight to Milwaukee.
He credited his 2011 success in part to a new pitch, the cut fastball suggested by Brewers Minor League pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell last fall. Fiers began working on the pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
"I kept gaining confidence with it and it became one of my pitches to go to," Fiers said.