MESA, Ariz. -- In sending 2017 Opening Day starter Junior Guerra to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday, the Brewers ticketed Brent Suter and No. 3 Brewers prospect Brandon Woodruff for the final two spots in the starting rotation.Suter will be the third Brewers starter out of the chute, starting March
MESA, Ariz. -- In sending 2017 Opening Day starter Junior Guerra to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday, the Brewers ticketed Brent Suter and No. 3 Brewers prospect Brandon Woodruff for the final two spots in the starting rotation.
Suter will be the third Brewers starter out of the chute, starting March 31 in San Diego after Chase Anderson and Jhoulys Chacin work the first two games. Woodruff will work out of the bullpen until Friday, April 6, against the Cubs at Miller Park, when the Brewers first need a No. 5 starter.
"Brandon is a young starting pitcher who we feel needs to experience the big leagues," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Certainly, he has room for growth, but we think he's getting better and we need to see that at the big league level. He's ready to win games for us, I think."
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Woodruff's Major League debut was delayed when he suffered a pregame hamstring injury on June 13 in St. Louis, but he returned in August and went 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA in eight starts amid Milwaukee's postseason push. He had a 7.11 ERA in five Cactus League games (two starts) this spring.
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The Brewers think Guerra will benefit from a more regimented schedule in the Minors, general manager David Stearns said, as opposed to the malleable schedule common for a fifth starter.
"We saw some really good signs out of Junior this spring," Stearns said. "I think all of us think that, from the velocity coming back a little bit, and the split looked good at times. He's going to be part of this mix."
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Guerra, Suter and Woodruff all have Minor League options, so there is the potential for in-season movement.
While the Brewers' rotation was set Saturday, the bullpen was not. Since Woodruff will technically be in the bullpen on Opening Day, the Brewers appeared to have six spots locked up with Woodruff plus Corey Knebel, Josh Hader, Matt Albers, Jeremy Jeffress and Jacob Barnes, though there has been some concern about Barnes' spring struggles. Assuming Barnes is in, there are two open spots for Oliver Drake, J.J. Hoover and Taylor Williams.
A last-minute addition remains possible. Last year, the Brewers added Jared Hughes at the end of Spring Training. The year before that, it was Carlos Torres.
"This time of year, there is a ton of transactional volume," Stearns said. "It's not out of the question that there will be an external acquisition."
In light of further tests on left-hander Boone Logan's strained left triceps, the Brewers expect the veteran reliever to be sidelined about six weeks from time of injury, Stearns said.
"He believes it will be faster than that, and that's great," Stearns said.
Logan left Wednesday's game against the A's after three pitches. The six-week mark from that date would be May 2, right around the time the Brewers hope to have catcher Stephen Vogt back from his right shoulder strain.
In a much more minor matter, second baseman Eric Sogard did not play Saturday's 10-5 win over the A's because of a stiff neck.
Counsell and infielder Nate Orf were among those who took part in a morning ceremony behind the Minor League complex, where the Brewers bid farewell to infield coordinator Bob Miscik's favorite corner of Maryvale Baseball Park. Field 8, a half-field where Misick has been training Minor Leaguers for the past 10 years, will be covered by a parking lot as part of the renovation of the complex.
"A lot of us grew up on that infield," Orf said.
The group buried a fungo bat, Counsell said. Creatively, they repurposed the same gold-plated shovels handled by dignitaries during a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project earlier in the week. Miscik ate it up.
"He's not retiring, but his field is," Counsell cracked. "That's his office. He's probably hit millions of ground balls over there."
The Brewers play their Cactus League finale on Sunday against the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz., before jetting off to Houston for a pair of exhibitions at Minute Maid Park. Guerra was originally scheduled to pitch, but another Minor Leaguer will start the 2:05 p.m. CT game, which can be heard on an exclusive webcast on brewers.com. Eric Thames, Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar are among the big league regulars slated to play.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.