Narveson passes test, in line to rejoin rotation
Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson passed a big test in the City Field bullpen on Saturday afternoon, putting him in line to return to the starting rotation for one of Monday’s doubleheader games in Pittsburgh.
Narveson has already missed two starts with a deep cut on his left thumb, suffered on Aug. 12 while he was using a scissors to fix his baseball glove. He’d been throwing with a bandage over the wound until Saturday, when Narveson threw his full assortment of pitches with only a medical glue covering the cut.
“It was nice to be able to take the bandage off and not have anything holding you back,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it today in the bullpen, which is nice. You could just kind of throw your pitches.”
Said manager Ron Roenicke: “It’s not 100 percent, but he looked really good. Right now, we’re leaning [toward starting Narveson against the Pirates].”
The Brewers still face some decisions before Monday’s 4 p.m. CT doubleheader at PNC Park. Zack Greinke is scheduled to start the other game, and the team must decide which pitcher to send to the mound first. Greinke has told Brewers coaches he’s OK starting either game, but the decision impacts whether the team summons a backup from Triple-A Nashville, either to replace a position player at the start of the doubleheader or to be at the ready in case a roster move is necessary between games.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said right-hander Wily Peralta, Milwaukee’s top prospect in MLB.com’s latest rankings, was not being considered for that potential callup and that the pitcher officials have in mind is not currently on the 40-man roster. Roenicke could not name him, but it’s almost certainly another right-handed prospect, Michael Fiers.
If they do make a call-up, the Brewers would have to clear a 40-man roster spot. Before fellow pitching prospect Mark Rogers was dealt a 25-game suspension on Friday, the Brewers had the option of calling-up the injured Rogers, who is out for the year with carpal tunnel syndrome in his wrist, in order to place him on the 60-day disabled list, thus freeing a spot on the 40-man roster. Now, someone else would have to be removed.
Note: I have corrected this post since it went live Saturday morning to reflect that Fiers is NOT Rule 5 Draft eligible after this season. I was misinformed on that point and should have done some digging. I’ve made the mistake several times in the past week, and apologize for it.
Another note: Regarding Rogers, there is some debate whether or not his suspension would actually, by the rules, bar the Brewers from making that paper move — promoting him to the Majors to shift him to the 60-day DL. The real issue is that in doing so, the Brewers would have to pay Rogers a Major League salary during the final five weeks of the season. I have a very hard time believing they would do so after he drew a suspension for a banned stimulant. So, I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.