GUERRA, JUNIOR

Position: Pitcher

DOB: July 4, 1985

Height: 6’7″ / Weight: 240

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: Yes

How acquired: Free Agent (April 2, 2017)

Profile: Originally signed out of Venezuela by the Atlanta Braves as a catcher in 2001, Guerra spent three seasons working behind the plate, before moving to the mound in 2006.  He was released by the Braves a year later, then signed with the New York Mets in 2008.  Guerra saw action at four different levels in the Mets’ system, but was hit with a 50-game suspension and released again.  He didn’t play in 2010, then bounced around with stops in indy ball, the Mexican League and Italy before signing a deal with the Chicago White Sox in 2014.  He made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2015 but was put on waivers and claimed by Milwaukee in October of 2015.  He opened 2016 at Triple-A Colorado Springs, then was promoted to Milwaukee, where he established himself as one of the team’s more reliable starters.  He got the Opening Day assignment for the Brewers in 2017, but injuries and inconsistency plagued him all season long as he was unable to repeat his performance from the previous season.  With a fastball that sits in the 93 mph range, Guerra also throws a slider and has developed a splitter that has turned into his best pitch and has contributed in both starting and relief roles for the Brewers.

2003:  After signing with the Braves in 2001, Guerra didn’t make his pro debut until 2003, appearing in 28 games for Atlanta’s affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.  He hit just .193/.233/.333 with one home run in 57 at bats and drove in nine runs.

2004:  Returning to the GCL Braves for a second season in 2004, Guerra  got a little bit more playing time and showed slight improvements at the plate, but still struggled.  In 33 games, he hit .216/.255/.341 and collected eight doubles to go along with one home run.

2005:  The Braves moved Guerra up to Danville of the rookie Appalachian League in 2005 and he put together his best season with the bat there.  He appeared in 37 games and went on to hit .261/.289/.426 with ten doubles, three home runs and 18 runs batted in.

2006:  After showing off his strong arm by throwing out 30 of 55 potential base stealers over three seasons, the Braves opted to have Guerra move to the mound in 2006.  He saw action at three different levels, advancing as high as Low-A Rome and finished the year by going 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA and a pair of saves.

2007:  Guerra joined the Braves for Spring Training in 2007, but was released by the team before the start of the season and wound up sitting out the season.

2008:  Signed as a free agent by the New York Mets, Guerra saw action at four different levels in 2008, pitching for short-season Brooklyn, rookie Kingston, Low-A Savannah and High-A St. Lucie.  In 18 combined games, he went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA.

2009:  After testing positive for a banned substance, Guerra received a 50-game suspension and was subsequently released by the New York Mets in June of 2009.

2010:  Guerra did not play affiliated ball in 2010, pitching in Europe for CBS Sant Boi before appearing in winter league action with La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League.

2011:  In 2011, Guerra opted to go the indy league route, signing a deal with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association.  He made 20 starts there, going 9-3 with a 3.57 earned run average while striking out 103 batters in 128.2 innings of work.

2012:  As he tried to work his way back to affiliated ball, Guerra moved to the Mexican League in 2012, pitching for Yucatan.  He made five starts there, going just 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA, striking out 20 but issuing 22 walks over 28 innings.

2013:  Guerra opted to return to the independent leagues in 2013, again signing on to pitch for Wichita.  He started 19 of the 212 games that he pitched in there and wound up going 9-4 with a 3.30 ERA, striking out more than a batter per inning and recording a pair of complete games.

2014:  With still no offers to play affiliated ball, Guerra went back to Europe in 2014, pitching in Italy for T&A San Marino before again playing winter ball in Venezuela with La Guaira, and his persistence paid off when the Chicago White Sox signed him to a free agent deal in October.

2015:  Guerra split time between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2015, before finally making his MLB debut with the White Sox in June.  He made three relief appearances with the White Sox, but was put on waivers in October and was claimed by Milwaukee.

2016:  The Brewers sent Guerra to Triple-A Colorado Springs to open the 2016 season, then called him up to Milwaukee in May to join their rotation.  He turned into the team’s best starter, going 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts, holding opposing hitters to a .213 batting average.

2017:  Guerra entered the 2017 season at Milwaukee’s number one starter, but an injury suffered on Opening Day derailed his season.  He bounced between Milwaukee, Colorado Springs and Double-A Biloxi, and struggled to a record of 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 21 big league appearances, working as both a starter and a reliever.