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Hand returns to relief role, impressed as starter

SEATTLE -- Right-hander Donovan Hand is the odd man out in the Brewers' suddenly crowded starting rotation, but made his mark during a brief stint as a starter before returning to a relief role.

"I like what he does," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He filled in really nice for us. I thought he threw a lot of good ballgames. He understands how to pitch.

"I think going forward with him, and I don't know what exactly we're going to do in the offseason, so it's hard to say exactly where his role fits in, but I really like him in the bullpen, for a long man, for filling in when you need a guy who can throw strikes, and knowing if something comes up, an emergency, he can go in there and spot start."

Hand was 0-4 with a 4.17 ERA in his seven starts. He surrendered nine home runs in 36 2/3 innings as a starter, but pitched five innings or more five times and limited opponents to three or fewer earned runs six times.

"I haven't done it in a long time, haven't started in a long time," said Hand, who had not started regularly since 2009 at Double-A Huntsville. "It's a learning curve. I'm learning things the hard way, the easy way sometimes. That's why they get paid the big bucks, to make those decisions, and whatever decision they make, I've got to go with."

"He did his part. I think he showed us he can pitch here," Roenicke said.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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