The Milwaukee Brewers have finally decided what their starting rotation will look like now that Kyle Lohse is on the team. Even though many speculated left-handed pitcher Chris Narveson would be one of the five starters, it has been decided that he will be placed in the bullpen.
Right-hander Mike Fiers will take on the role of the final rotation spot, which means Milwaukee will begin the season without a left-hander in the starting five for the first time in years. Fiers did not so much win the role as he simply pitched better than Mark Rogers, who was one of the other candidates for a rotation spot. Fiers’ 2-1 record, 6.98 earned run average and 16 strikeouts in six games (five starts) are nothing to be thrilled about.
Fiers also got the nod to be a starter in 2013 because Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought it would be best to begin Narveson’s season in a long-relief role. The purpose of this is to allow the 31-year-old to ease into the season after pitching in only two games last year due to a season-ending rotator cuff injury. This will allow him to throw at a decent pace where he might not be expected to step on the mound for a long period of time every five days.
“He’s OK, but he’s been really pushing through this thing in Spring Training, through the surgery,” Roenicke told Brewers.com. “In the long run, it’s probably going to help him to limit his innings at the start.”
Narveson pitched well all spring until his last outing on March 25 in which he allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. To say this outing swayed Roenicke’s decision to place Fiers in the starting rotation over Narveson is an understatement. Narveson finished Spring Training with a 1-2 record, 5.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts in five starts.
With these two roster moves, the Brewers have their starting five in place. Ace Yovani Gallardo will take the mound on Opening Day with Marco Estrada, rookie Wily Peralta, Lohse and Fiers following in his footsteps.