Manager Ned Yost announced the decision before the game Monday. The Brewers will likely make a player move after the game Monday or early on Tuesday in order to clear a spot for Helling on the 25-man roster. Relievers Joe Winkelsas and Allan Simpson were the leading candidates to be demoted to the minor leagues.
There was talk over the weekend that the Brewers, who are carrying 13 pitchers, would consider sending down another pitcher in order to add a position player to the roster and give Yost more flexibility in the late innings. It's unclear whether that will happen.
Rookie Carlos Villanueva, who threw six scoreless innings in his first major-league starting debut last week in Cincinnati, will stay in the big leagues, but shift to the bullpen. Villanueva could work in long relief behind Helling if the veteran gets in trouble or experiences discomfort in his elbow.
Helling, who is 35 and considered retiring before joining the Brewers as a minor-league free agent in the winter of 2005, had never experienced arm trouble before this season and likely will pitch as hard as he can for as long as he can without fear of making the injury worse. That attitude would make him valuable in a long relief role, similar to the one held by Dave Burba a few years ago. For now, though, the Brewers feel Helling will be better off throwing every five days.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.