Barring some unexpected next-day soreness for Dave Bush, the Brewers’ first four starters are set. The No. 5 slot, meanwhile, remains a mystery.
The candidates are left-handers Chris Narveson and Manny Parra and right-hander Jeff Suppan, all of whom are on schedule to pitch Tuesday. Brewers manager Ken Macha said Narveson would start the afternoon Cactus League game against the Angels and Parra would follow in relief, but he said curiously little about Suppan.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to answer that for you [Tuesday] morning,” Macha said.
That raised some eyebrows because it is uncharacteristic for the schedule to be so fluid, especially for a 15-year veteran like Suppan. He has not been particularly sharp this spring, but he’s entering the final season of a four-year contract and is guaranteed $12.5 million.
Parra, 27, and Narveson, 28, are both out of options and the Brewers are hesitant to risk losing either lefty. The Brewers could keep all three pitchers on the Opening Day roster if they are willing to keep two of them in the bullpen. Otherwise, some kind of roster move is in order.
If it involves Suppan, 35, it could be an expensive one.
Macha was pressed on Monday about his vague answers regarding Suppan. Is some kind of roster move coming?
“There could be a roster move at any time, let’s put it that way,” Macha said. “This is the end of Spring Training, so stuff like that happens. There are moves every day.”
Indeed, the team returned first baseman Joe Koshansky to Minor League camp after Monday’s game. Stay tuned to see if there is more roster manipulation on Tuesday.