Kameron Loe, due to injuries to the Braves’ pitching staff, will get the start today against the Mets.
ATLANTA — At this point in his career, Kameron Loe is the quintessential journeyman, having pitched for four major league teams in the past 12 months and spent much of this season as a 31-year-old in Triple A.
But it was only a couple of seasons ago when the towering right-hander excelled in the throes of a playoff race for a 96-win, division champion Milwaukee team.
After being brought up from Triple-A Gwinnett by the first-place Braves on Monday, Loe hopes for a chance to show he can still perform on a bigger stage. He’ll get his first chance today when he makes a spot start in place of rookie Julio Teheran in the Braves’ series finale against the Mets.
Teheran’s next turn will be pushed to Sept. 10, to help keep his innings total to a level the Braves are comfortable with. He has thrown 161 1/3 innings this season, after totaling a career-high 168 last year, which included 30 2/3 innings during the Dominican winter league.
“I’m really pumped,” said Loe, who was told about the start Monday morning, shortly after arriving at Turner Field. “This is my first start in the big leagues since ‘07, so I’m really excited.”
He spent some time before Monday afternoon’s game against the Mets getting reacquainted with Braves teammates, most of whom he hadn’t seen since his brief stint with the team in late July.
“It’s a real privilege for me to come up here and help this team out, to be with a first-place team,” said Loe, whose 3.50 ERA in 72 appearances for the 2011 Brewers included a 1.44 ERA in his last 22 games, with 24 strikeouts and three walks in 25 innings.
He also made five postseason relief appearances that year, allowing four runs in one and none in the others. Now he’ll be thrust back into another playoff race. “It’s exactly why we play,” Loe said.
After giving up four hits, three runs and two walks in 1 2/3 innings against the Mets on July 25, he was dropped from the 40-man roster, cleared waivers and went back to Gwinnett. He returned to the Triple-A rotation and went 0-2 with a 2.91 ERA in six starts before being summoned again. He allowed one or no runs in four of his last five starts.
The Braves opened a spot for his return to the 40-man roster by transferring pitcher Tim Hudson from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. He had season-ending surgery for a broken ankle.
They brought up Loe to have another long reliever/spot starter, after Freddy Garcia pitched 4 2/3 scoreless relief innings Sunday in his first game after being called from Triple-A.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Garcia might have started today if he hadn’t been needed for so much of Sunday’s game after Alex Wood’s early exit. The Braves ended up using lefty Luis Avilan in Monday’s 13-5 blowout against the Mets, his team-high 65th appearance, because others were unavailable, including Garcia and Loe.