Brewers Roundup: The starting rotation will be young in 2013Wisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers say they’re comfortable with the prospect of having up to three young starting pitchers in their rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers say they’re comfortable with the prospect of having up to three young starting pitchers in their rotation. It was the central theme yesterday at the annual “Brewers On Deck” fan festival, attended by almost 12-thousand fans at Milwaukee’s downtown Delta Center. Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are expected to be in the top-two spots in the rotation. But after that, it could all be hurlers who’ve had less than a year of big league experience – Mike Fiers, Mark Rogers, and Wily Peralta. Manager Ron Roenicke says the good thing is that there will be competition for those final three spots. He wants to see how left-hander Chris Narveson recovers from the rotator cuff injury that kept him out for almost all of last season. Also, there’s still a chance the Brewers can pick up a second experienced starter – namely Kyle Lohse from Saint Louis, who’s still on the free agent market. Outfielder Ryan Braun admits that the pitching will be more of an unknown this year. But on the other hand, he says he’s excited about the depth of pitching that the Brewers have in their organization. General manager Doug Melvin said the young starters pitched well enough last August and September to give the team confidence. Melvin is dealing with a smaller payroll this year – around 80-million dollars, down from 101-million a year ago. But team owner Mark Attanasio says adjustments can be made mid-season if necessary.
Former Brewers’ right-hander Carlos Villanueva is returning to the National League Central Division. He signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs during the weekend worth 10-million dollars. The two sides agreed to the deal in mid-December, pending a physical. The 29-year-old Villanueva spent the last two years with Toronto, after five seasons with the Brewers. He went 7-and-7 last year with a four-point-one-six E-R-A in 16 starts and 22 relief appearances for the Blue Jays. Villanueva lost three starts in September, with an E-R-A of more than eight in five starts for the month. His career record is 33-and-35, with an E-R-A of just over four-and-a-quarter. To clear a roster spot for Villanueva, the Cubs designated right-hander Lendy Castillo for assignment. Also, ex-Brewers’ catcher Henry Blanco has signed a one-year contract with Toronto worth 750-thousand-dollars. The 41-year-old Blanco played in 21 games for Arizona last year, with a .188 average. He’s a 15-year Major League veteran, who played for Milwaukee in 2000-and-2001.