Hellweg joins rotation with chance to earn job for '14

Hellweg joins rotation with chance to earn job for '14

Hellweg joins rotation with chance to earn job for '14

MILWAUKEE -- Johnny Hellweg did not make good on his first Major League chance. Now, as a September callup, the 6-foot-9 right-hander has an opportunity to make an impression on the Brewers for next season.

Hellweg rejoined the Brewers at Miller Park on Tuesday with his previous big league experience in his back pocket and his sights on his Saturday start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"It's just an opportunity," Hellweg said. "I'm kind of getting my shot to show what I can do. You take an opportunity and run with it to earn a job for the next couple years."

Hellweg -- the No. 3 Brewers prospect, according to MLB.com -- will try to lower the 10.97 ERA he posted in three starts and a relief appearance in his first big league stint in late June and early July. More importantly, the right-hander, who was part of the Zack Greinke and Jean Segura trade last season, will have a chance to prove his dominance at Triple-A Nashville can translate to the big stage.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will be watching intently.

"I want to see what he's all about," Roenicke said. "I want to see him throw the same way he does [at Nashville] and see what happens. For him, yeah, this is an important time. He can make a certain impression on us going into next year that's really good."

Roenicke agreed to a comparison of Hellweg's chance to last season's callup of Wily Peralta. Peralta impressed in September with a 2.28 ERA in five starts, leading to his spot in the Brewers' rotation this year.

"Yeah, that's the way this could go," said Roenicke.

Hellweg earned Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors for the 12-5 record and 3.15 ERA he posted in 23 starts at Nashville this season. In 125 2/3 innings, he struck out 89 and walked 81, while holding opposing hitters to a .228 average. At one point, Hellweg won eight consecutive starts -- five before his big league callup and three after an outing with Class A Wisconsin that he also won.

"[Winning PCL Pitcher of the Year] kind of just shows that I did what I needed to at Triple-A and now it's time to do that here," Hellweg said. "It's still the Minor Leagues down there at Triple-A, but it gives me a little bit of a confidence booster coming up here and giving this another shot."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.