The Milwaukee Brewers have announced that left-hander Chris Narveson will be one of the five pitchers in the starting rotation for the 2013 Major League Baseball season. This means Mark Rogers will be the odd man out.
Rogers was projected to be one of the starters at the back end of the rotation, but a poor Spring Training has forced manager Ron Roenicke to take him out. There is no way Rogers can redeem himself, as the starting rotation appears to be final. At this point, his only chance of clinching an Opening Day roster spot is in the bullpen.
The right-hander has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.50 earned run average, 10 walks and only one strikeout in three starts this spring.
To say fans in Milwaukee were surprised at his dismal performance would be an understatement, especially considering how well he pitched down the stretch for the team in 2012. The 27-year-old went 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA and 41 strikeouts in seven starts while the Brewers tried to clinch the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
Rogers was shut down due to fatigue in the last couple weeks of the season, but proved to everyone he deserved a starting role in 2013. Unfortunately, in order to clinch that job he had to pitch decent enough in camp to win it, which is something he did not do.
Rogers is throwing bullpen sessions in an attempt to get his command back to where it once was. Milwaukee is hoping that he can figure it out soon because the regular season is just around the corner.
Considering he is out of Minor League options, the only chance the Brewers can assign him to the minors is if he clears waivers. Since other teams have asked general manager Doug Melvin about Rogers’ trade options in recent years, it does not appear likely he will get through all 30 teams without someone picking him up.
Narveson was required to undergo season-ending surgery in 2012 for a torn rotator cuff. The only reason he was not expected to be in the starting rotation this season is because of how well Michael Fiers, Wily Peralta and Rogers pitched down the stretch last year. However, the 31-year-old has been given another chance to prove himself as the fourth member of the rotation.
In only two starts last season, Narveson allowed seven earned runs in nine innings of work. However, he posted one of the best seasons of his career in 2011, the year Milwaukee won the National League Central division. He went 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 30 games (28 starts).
The Brewers are hoping Narveson can finally unleash the talent that the organization has always believed he had since they acquired the pitcher in 2007. It is critical that he makes the best of this opportunity not only for his sake, but for the sake of Milwaukee’s chances in 2013.