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Rotation, 'pen in flux as Crew heads home

March 29, 2017

PHOENIX -- The Brewers packed up Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday afternoon and headed north with some starting rotation and bullpen decisions to make -- or make public -- before they can tie a bow on Spring Training.Barring a last-minute acquisition, the slate of position players appears complete, with a

PHOENIX -- The Brewers packed up Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday afternoon and headed north with some starting rotation and bullpen decisions to make -- or make public -- before they can tie a bow on Spring Training.
Barring a last-minute acquisition, the slate of position players appears complete, with a four-man bench. That means the team was positioned to carry an extra pitcher into a regular season that opens Monday at home against the Rockies with the first of 23 games in 24 days -- an unusually busy April.
Manager Craig Counsell has not revealed his starting pitching plans beyond Junior Guerra on Opening Day and Zach Davies in Game 2. Wily Peralta, Matt Garza and Jimmy Nelson are lined up for the next three games, but the Brewers have also been looking at Chase Anderson and Tommy Milone for the rotation this spring.

If Anderson or Milone is not in the rotation, they could wind up in a bullpen that probably has four locks: Neftali Feliz, Corey Knebel, Carlos Torres and out-of-options Jhan Marinez. Others still in the running for the remaining roster openings as of Wednesday were Jacob Barnes, Tyler Cravy, Taylor Jungmann and Rob Scahill. Only Scahill is not on the 40-man roster, which does have one open spot.

"We have a lot of balls in the air, internally and externally," Brewers general manager David Stearns said. "We don't have to make those decisions yet."
Counsell said, "There's still possibilities of things happening."
Susac likely headed to DL
The Brewers expect to have one player on their Opening Day disabled list. Catcher Andrew Susac is making slow progress with a tight trapezius muscle behind his right shoulder.
"It's improving, I would say. But looking pretty unlikely that he is going to be healthy to start the season," Counsell said. "He's running out of days. You'll start to see him on the field. He's down there for stretching and things like that, but he's not throwing, hitting, anything like that. He's becoming more active, but it's not there yet."

Last call
• Seven players who will not make the Opening Day roster traveled with the team to Milwaukee for a pair of weekend exhibitions against the White Sox. They were pitchers Tim Dillard and Paolo Espino, infielders Ivan De Jesus Jr., Nate Orf and Eric Sogard, and outfielder Kyle Wren, along with catcher Rene Garcia.
• The Brewers' emergency catcher should come as no surprise. He is Hernan Perez, the super-utility man who started games for the Brewers last season at every position but pitcher and catcher. Perez figures to play a lot because he is the Brewers' only extra player capable of playing the middle infield.
Asked whether he has his own catcher's glove, Perez smiled and said, "No, but I can ask for one."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.