Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 5/19/12
MILWAUKEE It had been a long road back to the major leagues for Brewers reliever Vinnie Chulk, having toiled in the minors for more than two years since being a regular bullpen contributor in Toronto and San Francisco. Chulk was called up and given another chance at the major-league level on April 28, as the Brewers needed arms to reinforce their bullpen. But after struggling this season with a 10.00 ERA in seven games, Chulk was designated for assignment on Saturday. In his place, the Brewers called up left-handed reliever Juan Perez, giving him a spot on the team's 40-man roster. "We felt like we needed the help in the bullpen," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said on Saturday. "Vinnie had pitched three days in a row he wasn't going to be able to pitch today. This gives us a guy more specific to maybe what we need. We've come across a lot of left-handed lineups, and we're getting stuck in that middle relief part, where we're having to put in some right-handers against some lefties that we'd rather not do." Perez has been particularly impressive for Triple-A Nashville this season with a 0.84 ERA in 10 23 innings worth of action. In that time, Perez averaged nearly 1.5 strikeouts per inning and was particularly effective with getting out left-handers with what Roenicke referred to as his "funkiness". Last year, in five innings for the Phillies, Perez struck out eight batters and registered a 3.60 ERA in limited work. The left-hander had experienced some trouble with his command with a high walk rate in the past, but Roenicke said that he's improved significantly on that front. "He's got good stuff along with the funkiness," Roenicke said. "When I say he's a left-handed guy, he's been getting out right-handers too. But if we come into an inning, we've got two out of three guys are left-handed, we feel good about him getting out of the inning. But I liked what I saw in spring training. He's got some walks in him, but when he's throwing strikes, he's a tough guy to hit." Still, designating a guy like Chulk, who had fought so hard to get back to the major league level, was a tough decision for Roenicke and the Brewers' brass. "It wasn't a tough conversation, but it was tough when we were thinking about doing it," Roenicke said. "We all know what he had went through, and it's been a long time since he had been back. Again, some of the ideal situations to put in a reliever haven't been there. We're just not going deep enough to get to that part where we get more specific with what we do with our guys." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter
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