OAKLAND -- This is not the way manager Craig Counsell and the Brewers would have drawn it up; three open dates in a span of eight days. But the schedule is the schedule, so Counsell opted to put those off-days to good use.The club is skipping Chase Anderson's next start
OAKLAND -- This is not the way manager Craig Counsell and the Brewers would have drawn it up; three open dates in a span of eight days. But the schedule is the schedule, so Counsell opted to put those off-days to good use.
The club is skipping Chase Anderson's next start to give the right-hander a healthy break, and is likewise pumping the brakes on Jonathan Lucroy, their hard-worked catcher. Lucroy entered Tuesday having caught the second-most innings (496 2/3) in the Majors this season, trailing only the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (539 1/3 innings).
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Lucroy's respite began Sunday in scorching Los Angeles, where Martin Maldonado caught all nine innings in triple-digit heat. The Brewers were off Monday, and Maldonado was back behind the plate for Tuesday's series opener against the A's at the Coliseum, with Lucroy serving as designated hitter.
"He's setting a pretty good pace for catching, so it's an opportunity to get him consecutive days off, three days off in a row," Counsell said. "I'm actually considering [Wednesday], too, just to get his legs freshened up."
After completing their long road trip Wednesday, the Brewers have another day off Thursday before a three-game series against the Nationals at Miller Park. Then there's yet another open date on the schedule Monday.
"He's going to catch a lot of games the rest of the year," Counsell said of Lucroy.
That could include the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. Lucroy is a contender to represent the Brewers at the Midsummer Classic in San Diego.
With Anderson's next turn skipped, the Brewers will start Zach Davies, Matt Garza and Jimmy Nelson in their upcoming three-game series against the Nationals. Anderson, who has surrendered 11 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings over his past two starts after allowing just two earned runs in 17 1/3 innings in three previous starts, will rejoin the rotation on June 28 against the Dodgers. He will work on nine days' rest.
"We kind of put together a plan before the road trip that Chase was going to be the guy," Counsell said. "We're just going to give him a break. He'll get his break now, and the rest of the guys will get a break using the All-Star break."
Counsell said the Brewers would try to stay away from using Anderson out of the bullpen during his downtime.
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.