Brewers release pitcher Randy Wolf to make room for Marcum

The Milwaukee Brewers have released veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, who sported a 5.69 earned-run average in 24 starts this season.
The Brewers' release of starting pitcher Randy Wolf, seen here, will make room in the rotation for starter Shaun Marcum, who is expected to start this weekend at Pittsburgh. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Randy Wolf doesn't really know what has been wrong with him this season, and understands why the Milwaukee Brewers released him on Wednesday.

And while the move wasn't an easy one to take, the veteran left-hander went out of his way to say that he doesn't harbour any bitterness toward the Brewers — even though he got the bad news on his 36th birthday.

"It's a really tough pill to swallow," Wolf said. "Luckily, I've always been humble in this game, and realized what this game is like."

Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 earned-run average in 24 starts for Milwaukee this year and had lost his last four decisions. The Brewers owe him about $3.7 million US in remaining salary and a buyout.

Wolf said things have been "brutal" this year but he doesn't know why.

His velocity isn't down from what it usually is, although he has struggled with his command.

"I just need to get better somehow, figure it out," Wolf said. "Obviously, I'm leaving too many balls over the middle of the plate. And if I do a better job of not doing that, I think I'll be OK."

More to offer

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke both said Wolf has something left to offer other teams.

"I think he needs a new atmosphere to be in," Roenicke said. "Randy still is not done pitching. I think next year he's going to have a good year for somebody. But I think when you get to a point where things happen so negatively every time you go out and pitch, you can't just wipe it out."

Melvin said he expects Wolf to catch on with another team this season.

"I'd be surprised if somebody didn't give him a chance," Melvin said.

Milwaukee recalled infielder Jeff Bianchi from AAA Nashville.

Wolf's release will make room in the rotation for starter Shaun Marcum, who is on a rehabilitation assignment and is scheduled to start Saturday's game at Pittsburgh. Marcum has been on the disabled list since June 23 with a right elbow injury.

The move also will allow the Brewers to take a look at some of their young pitchers — a reality that likely would have forced Wolf to move to the bullpen if he stayed with the Brewers.

"We have these young guys that we need to see, and unfortunately we're in a position where we need to starting thinking about next year," Roenicke said.

Veteran presence

Still, the Brewers are likely to miss Wolf's veteran presence.

"I really like Randy," Roenicke said. "I like him as a player, and I like him as a person. He prepares himself as well as anybody I've ever been around. He's a great teammate. He helps out the young guys. Things didn't go well for him this year, and he feels [as] bad about it as anybody — worse about it than anybody. And he worked as hard as you could possibly work to get things turned around."

Ryan Braun said Wolf will be missed, especially in the clubhouse.

"With Randy, he always worked as hard as he could, he always put everything he had into this game," Braun said. "He was a great teammate, a lot of fun to be around every day. He did some great things for this organization, too."

Wolf thanked the Brewers on the way out, saying he didn't harbour any bitterness about the way his time with the team came to an end.

"The way that the organization has treated me through this has been outstanding," Wolf said. "They just wanted to give me a heads-up. I think how much respect they showed through this process has been amazing. I just want to thank them for everything. It's certainly unfortunate that this year was the way it was, and there's nobody more disappointed about that than I am."

Milwaukee is responsible for the $2,232,240 remaining of Wolf's $9.5 million salary this year and also for a $1.5 million buyout of a $10 million club option. If Wolf signs a major league contract with another team, a prorated share of the $480,000 minimum would be offset.