Brewers manager Ken Macha offered an interesting idea for recently-promoted pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Mark Rogers, both of whom have history as starters but are currently in Milwaukee’s bullpen. Treat them in 2011 like the Yankees did right-hander Phil Hughes, who pitched in relief in 2009 before moving permanently to New York’s starting rotation this season.
“If you took those guys and you started them, their innings would probably pile up to the point where you’d get into July and say, ‘These guys have enough innings,'” Macha said. “If you took a year and you pitched them out of the bullpen, say for 70-80 innings in multiple-inning stints, kind of like the Yankees broke in Phil Hughes, then you have a starter for the next year.”
It’s an intriguing way to get Jeffress and Rogers, neither of whom have much experience above Double-A, into the big league mix for 2011 without giving up on them as starters for 2012 and beyond. The Brewers’ long-term need is obviously starting pitching, and they have already moved Zach Braddock to relief.
Something to think about as we start looking ahead to next year.