Roenicke sticking with starters for road trip
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have considered a myriad of fixes for poor starting pitching, including promoting a player all the way from Double-A, but will remain with the current group for at least one more turn through the rotation.
Marco Estrada will start the opener of a five-game road trip Wednesday at Minnesota, followed by Kyle Lohse's return to the rotation Thursday after missing one start with right elbow discomfort. Yovani Gallardo and Wily Peralta, who in particular have struggled so far, will then pitch in the subsequent three-game series at Philadelphia. Gallardo will start the opening game, and Peralta will take the hill Saturday or Sunday, depending on where the Brewers slot the current No. 5 starter, Mike Fiers.
Peralta's hold on his spot in the rotation was questioned after he needed 108 pitches for five innings in a loss to the Twins on Monday that actually lowered his ERA to 6.35.
Together, Brewers starters owned a 5.29 ERA entering Tuesday, worst in the National League.
"You don't usually see this; usually somebody will go out there like Marco did the other day and throw up some zeros," manager Ron Roenicke said of Estrada's seven-inning outing against the Pirates. "With our pitching staff, I expect that to happen. I don't know why it hasn't."
Because Triple-A Nashville's starting pitchers are also struggling, the Brewers have looked as far as Double-A Huntsville, where Jimmy Nelson, No. 8 on MLB.com's list of Milwaukee's top 20 prospects, and Ariel Pena, No. 17 on that list, have pitched well. Nelson is 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA and 65 strikeouts versus 12 walks after a no-decision Tuesday in Jackson, Miss.
Without mentioning any names, Roenicke said he would not be opposed to a player skipping Triple-A if necessary.
"We got [shortstop Jean Segura] out of Double-A last year, and I don't mind," Roenicke said. "We brought [Tyler] Thornburg last year from Double-A. We don't mind doing that. It depends on who's pitching the best and where we see them in their development, and whether it could affect them in a negative way if things didn't go well here. Every individual is a little different."