MILWAUKEE -- When Randy Wolf was released by the Brewers on Wednesday, it opened up the door for the Brewers' young pitchers to prove themselves over the rest of the season.
Still, two of the pitchers who stand to benefit the most -- Mike Fiers and Mark Rogers -- were among the most disappointed to see the 36-year-old left-hander leave."I haven't been up in this game for too long and I haven't really figured out what goes on, but this is definitely a loss," Fiers said. "Coming up to the big leagues my first full year, just having him around has been a treat. Just to have that guy who's been through a lot, and he's been in the big leagues for a while. He's taught me a lot of things, and I've had a lot of fun with him here."
Rogers, who had a locker next to Wolf in Spring Training the last few years, shared a similar sentiment. "He was great with me from the start," Rogers said. "From the second I walked into this clubhouse, he took me under his wing, played catch with me, talked to me about pitching. He's been a great teammate. It's never easy to see a teammate [getting released], much less such a great guy." Wolf's release -- which came on his birthday -- was partly the result of the nightmare season he's had on the mound. Just 3-10 on the year, with a 5.69 ERA, Wolf has shared his frustration after each tough start. While it's been hard on Wolf to struggle, the way he handled those rough patches left a lasting impression on the 27-year-old Fiers. "In this game, you're going to get hit hard once in a while," Fiers said. "I think, for me, I would blow up a lot. I would be more mad and kind of take it with me through the next couple days or so. Watching him, this hasn't been his best year, but when things aren't going right, he's still the same guy. He takes every day as the same. He's going to work hard, and he's going to get back out there for the next start and work on that. I think he's taught me that. I've seen the way he's handled himself on and off the field, so I think I've learned from just to keep cool, not really worry about it and get ready for my next start after a bad one." Ryan Braun also was said to see Wolf's time in Milwaukee come to an end. He said he felt bad for Wolf, first as a friend, then as a teammate. And instead of focusing on the negative, Braun talked about what the veteran pitcher meant to the team last season, when he went 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA. Braun also recognized that Wolf's departure will give other pitchers a chance they deserve. "It's definitely encouraging when you look at the young arms we now have," Braun said. "It's exciting for the future of the organization, knowing we have a few young guys who have the ability to contribute at this level. It's definitely important to see where they're at, too, as far as going into this offseason, so the organization can have a plan for next year in figuring out how to replace at least three of our starters, it looks like. It's an important time for all of them to have a chance to prove themselves a little bit."