Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Chris Narveson was only able to appear in two games last year due to a tear in his left rotator cuff that cost him the season. It is unknown how well he will be able to pitch during the 2013 MLB season after coming back from the injury.
Narveson showed up to camp a couple of weeks early in order to start his throwing sessions to make sure his arm is feeling good. As of right now, he is right on track, as there appears to be no problems with his throwing motion.
“It feels good; no restrictions,” said Narveson. “I threw six bullpens before camp opened and another one (Wednesday).
“It was funny because I turned around yesterday and looked around and three of the trainers were sitting over there watching to see how I looked. I told them it felt great, effortless. It’s good to get feedback from coaches and trainers to see the progression. They said it looked awesome. You see smiles and laughs, so you know things are good.”
Even though Narveson has been a member of the starting rotation the past few seasons, there is no guarantee that he gets the nod this year.
The quick assumption is that because he has plenty of experience and is one of the better No. 5 starters in the National League, he will automatically get a shot again this season. However, with the emergence of Marco Estrada, Michael Fiers, Mark Rogers and Wily Peralta, there is no guarantee that he makes the cut.
Manager Ron Roenicke may be forced to stick the 31-year old in the rotation because as of right now, he would be the only left-hander among the starting five. It will certainly be unusual to see five right-handed starters without at least one lefty, but Roenicke is not going to use that fact alone to decide who his starting pitchers are going to be.
At this point, whoever emerges as the top five candidates once spring training comes to a close will be the guys taking the mound on game days. This is good news for everybody involved in the Brewers organization, because it will give the team an opportunity to be in a competitive state of mind before the regular season even starts.
“I like the competition,” Narveson said. “I know I can do it. If I’m healthy, I should be able to contribute and help the team win. At the same time, you want everybody to succeed. If all of us pitch well, that’s better for the Brewers. That’s the mantra that everybody is taking.”
Obviously, after what happened with Milwaukee in 2012, they will probably need at least seven pitchers ready to step into a starting role if need be. The Brewers proved last year that not only is depth on the 25-man roster important, but prospects in the minors need to be prepared to step up if called on.
It will be interesting to see who the five starters will be for Milwaukee to begin the season as there are several quality candidates. If I had to guess, I would say Narveson will most likely start the season in the bullpen while Yovani Gallardo, Estrada, Fiers, Rogers and Peralta will man the starting rotation in that order.
All five of those men proved last year that they are capable of handling the job, and their performance down the stretch is enough for them to get a shot at it right out of the gates in 2013.