Weathers brings experience to bullpen
Veteran right-hander can fill variety of roles for Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- The last time David Weathers pitched for Milwaukee, the Brewers were a club struggling to break the 75-win mark.
Just a day into his second stint with the Brewers, Weathers said he already can see a different mind-set, one of a club fighting to stay in the playoff hunt.
"There's a lot more confidence," Weathers said. "When I played here [before], we were just trying to keep our heads above water, and now these guys are fighting for a playoff spot. The aura surrounding the stadium, and just the confidence, is much better."
Milwaukee acquired Weathers on Sunday from Cincinnati for a player to be named. To make room on the 25-man roster, the Brewers optioned right-handed reliever Chris Smith to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.
Weathers was 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 43 appearances this season for the Reds. During his first stint with Milwaukee, from mid-1998 to mid-2001, the right-handed veteran reliever went 17-14 with a 3.45 ERA. He holds a 2.50 ERA in 48 career appearances at Miller Park.
"He's a sinker-slider guy who knows how to get hitters out," Brewers bullpen coach Stan Kyles said. "He's not going to get rattled in big situations, so he's a welcome addition, obviously. Other than [Trevor] Hoffman, we haven't had that stalwart guy with loads of experience."
Brewers manager Ken Macha said the 39-year-old Weathers adds flexibility to the overworked bullpen. Macha said Weathers can work in the later innings, such as the seventh or, on days when Hoffman is unable to close, Weathers can sub for current setup man Todd Coffey, who would pitch the ninth.
"It gives us some length out there, gives us an experienced guy that's been successful in the eighth innings," Macha said. "He gives us some flexibility out there."
Before Tuesday's batting practice, Weathers wasn't entirely sure of his role on the team, but he said he's willing to pitch whenever he's asked in order to help the Brewers in their playoff push.
"I'm sure before the game we'll sit down and talk," said Weathers of Macha. "I'm sure he knows my reputation as a guy that, whenever you call on me, I'll be ready. I don't have an ego, so whatever he has for me, I'll give him."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.