The Milwaukee Brewers have decided to push starting pitcher Marco Estrada’s scheduled start back two days. Instead of taking the mound on Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, Estrada will now make his eighth start of the season in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The reason Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has decided to do this is because Estrada got roughed up in his last start. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. If Milwaukee had it their way, they would skip Estrada’s spot in the rotation all together to give him a few days to pull it together. Unfortunately, there is no day off during the road trip.
“I would say if it could have worked out where we could have completely missed a start with him, we would have thought about doing that,” Roenicke said, according to Brewers.com. “Where we can just try to regroup and see if we can get some things back, a couple of bullpens with [pitching coach Rick Kranitz]. We’re just trying to figure how to best get him back the way he was.”
Another reason Roenicke has Estrada facing the Pirates is because the starter has had much more success against Pittsburgh than Cincinnati the last three years. Estrada has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.43 earned run average against the Pirates since 2010, while he is 1-3 with a 4.24 ERA over the same span.
The 29-year-old has struggled mightily throughout the season, and has only posted a quality start twice in seven outings. He also has a huge issue of keeping the ball in the ball park as he leads the National League in home runs allowed (11).
Milwaukee believes Estrada can handle the starting role, and the last thing they want to do is remove him from the rotation. However, if he does not get his act together soon then the team will have no choice.
Estrada is 2-2 with a 6.05 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings this season.