Mired in funk, Blazek optioned to Triple-A

Brewers hoping multi-inning outings will turn righty's season around; Knebel may fill spot

Mired in funk, Blazek optioned to Triple-A

MILWAUKEE -- Slumping reliever Michael Blazek won't be with the Brewers when they resume play Friday following the All-Star break. The team optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday with hope that a period of multi-inning appearances there will help Blazek get back on track.

The team won't announce a corresponding move until later in the week. One possible callup is Corey Knebel, who was unscored upon in seven of his first eight appearances since his own demotion to Triple-A last month.

"We've got to get Mike on track," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's been a little bit of a struggle for him lately. We'll try to get him on the mound for some multiple innings. I think he really benefits from [that]. I think he's able to fix himself when he's out there with more pitches in his outings."

Blazek began this season as a key bullpen piece for the Brewers, who were hit with a series of pitching injuries late in Spring Training. He had a 2.31 ERA and stranded all four inherited runners in his first 24 appearances, but surrendered five earned runs in a May 28 loss to the Reds and was placed on the disabled list with a right elbow impingement.

Following an abbreviated rehab assignment, Blazek rejoined the Brewers on June 21 and has surrendered nine earned runs on eight hits (including three home runs) and eight walks in 6 2/3 innings over his past eight games.

"It's hard to predict what's going to happen after a DL stint," Counsell said.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.