Posted by Steve
Thankfully, the Brewers are making decisions based on talent rather than salary. Jeff Suppan has been put on the disabled list with what the Brewers are calling neck stiffness–perhaps whiplash from turning to watch his gopher balls fly out of the park?
This is the best move for the Brewers, as it allows them to keep their 12 best pitchers on the opening day roster. Manny Parra, Dave Bush, and Chris Narveson have no minor league options remaining, so if any one of them did not make the team, the Brewers likely would have lost him to another team.
Suppan hasn’t pitched in the bullpen in years, and everyone knows he didn’t deserve to be in the rotation, so there’s really no place for him. Plus, the only way to keep him on the roster would have been to demote Carlos Villanueva, who is really the only candidate with a remaining minor league option. This move is probably even better than simply cutting Suppan. This way, they can hang onto him for depth purposes. And who knows–maybe he actually is injured. It sounds like he actually has been injured slightly, but it couldn’t have been anything terrible if he’s been pitching all spring.
The only remaining question in regards to pitching is whether Manny Parra or Chris Narveson will be the fifth starter. Chris Narveson has pitched better this spring, but I don’t like basing these types of decisions on spring training performances–particularly when he’s only pitched 12 innings. Narveson did have a nice 2oo9 season between AAA and Milwaukee, so I won’t really mind if he’s named the fifth starter. This decision gives us something to discuss now, but in reality, within a month at most it won’t even matter. Injuries and performance will dictate changes, and I’d just about guarantee that both Parra and Narveson will make multiple starts this season.
Anyway, this is what we’re looking at for an opening day staff. Nothing special, but it looks to be a fairly substantial improvement over last season’s disaster.