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Bruso stat breakout: In his second year of minor league pitching, Bruso is 16-12 with a 2.83 ERA with just 39 batters in 241 1/3 innings.
Greg Bruso changed hats, major league affiliation and geographical location on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3 right-hander, who grew up pitching in South Lake Tahoe, was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for veteran second baseman Eric Young.
“We gave up another good kid in Bruso, who’s going to pitch in the big leagues,” said Giants’ General Manager Brian Sabean. “It’s tough to give up kids, because sooner or later, we’re going to need these guys.”
The Giants acquired the 35-year-old Young so that starting second baseman Ray Durham won’t have to rush back from injury.
Bruso, 23, began the season with the Giants’ Single-A club in San Jose before being promoted to Double-A Norwich.
The Brewers assigned Bruso to their Double-A Southern League affiliate in Huntsville, Ala.
“We wish Eric the best of luck as he moves into the pennant race with the Giants,” said Doug Melvin, Milwaukee’s executive vice president and general manager. “Greg Bruso is a good, young pitcher with tremendous control that will fit in well with the staff in Huntsville.”
Bruso’s first start with Huntsville will be delayed because the Brewers have agreed to honor a trip to South Lake Tahoe previously OK’d by the Giants. Bruso will be a groomsman in his step brother Brian Pierce’s wedding this weekend. He’ll fly into Reno tonight and leave for Huntsville on Sunday.
When Bruso relayed the news to his father, Paul, in South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday morning, he had mixed feelings about the trade.
“He was pretty surprised,” Paul said. “He told me that being traded is a good thing, but he’s disappointed that he’s not going to be with the Giants. I’m sure he’d rather be closer to home and he’s a big Giants’ fan.”
However, the trade may enable Bruso to reach his dream sooner.
“Ultimately he’d like to make it to the big leagues and he told me he’s really interested in the most direct route.”
In his second year of minor league pitching, Bruso is 16-12 with a 2.83 ERA and has walked just 39 batters in 241 1/3 innings.
Huntsville is in the midst of a promising season. The Stars won the first-half title in the Western Division of the Southern League, guaranteeing them a spot in next month’s playoffs. The team has excelled in pitching, compiling a 3.39 ERA.
Among the clubs participating in the Southern League are the Birmingham Barons, a team retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan spent a cup of coffee with when he was trying to make it as a baseball player back in the 1990s.
After the Giants took Bruso in the 16th round of the 2002 Amateur Baseball Draft, the UC Davis product found immediate success in the pro ranks. He posted a 4-3 record and won the Northwest League ERA title (1.99) while pitching for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes last summer. He walked 17 batters and allowed 18 earned runs in 81 innings.
His stock continued to rise last fall when the Giants selected him co-MVP of the Arizona Instructional League.
Bruso started his second minor league season in San Jose, where the organization began to take notice of his progress. His 4-0 record and 1.38 ERA for the last-place Giants in May earned him organizational player of the month. His hot streak, which included seven straight victories, came after an 0-4 start.
In June, Bruso was denied a California League All-Star Game appearance but received a special consolation prize. The Giants promoted him to Double-A Norwich, Conn., in the Eastern League. During his short stay with the Navigators, Bruso was 5-4 with 3.42 ERA in 11 starts. He fanned 45 and walked 11.
Bruso’s overall stats for the 2003 season are 160 innings, 12-9 record, 3.27 ERA, 22 walks and 122 strikeouts.
Young, meanwhile, is pleased to go to a playoff contender.
“I just want to go over there and get to that playoff level again,” said Young, who played in the postseason in 1995 for Colorado. “I’d only experienced that one time in my career and that’s what it’s all about.
“There’s nothing like having a chance come Sept. 1 and then actually reaching it. It’s a whole different level.”
The Giants will pay the remainder of Young’s $2 million contract for this season and have a $3 million team option for 2004. If they don’t exercise the option, Milwaukee is responsible for a $1 million buyout.
Young was hitting .260 with a career-high 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases this season.
Durham has been on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with an injured groin.
“It’s no secret contending clubs are out looking for parts that can help them down the stretch and be eligible for their playoff roster,” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “I think Young is one of those guys who can fill a hole and the Giants have a hole at second base.”
To follow Bruso on the Internet, go to huntsvillestars.com.
— Major League Baseball.com and The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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