Roenicke: Tight budget means tough choices

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has not changed in his desire to see the team add a veteran starting pitcher this winter, but he understands that you don’t always get when you want.

“There’s lots of things that I think I would like,” Roenicke said with a smile on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday.

The Brewers need relievers and are looking hard at starters this week, but Roenicke said he understands that general manager Doug Melvin’s task is complicated by the fact the club is paring its payroll, from more than $100 million last season to as low as $80 million for 2013.

So Melvin is shopping with limited funds, some of which will have to be directed to a bullpen that currently has at least three vacancies.

“We’ve talked about both [starters and relievers],” Roenicke said. “It’s more as to who’s available that fits in. Obviously, any time you can get a good quality starter, that’s important. But if what we’re looking at isn’t that much better than what we have with the young guys, then all of a sudden it becomes more important to look at the bullpen.

“Because, there are holes in the bullpen. There aren’t holes in our starting rotation. We’ve got actually one too many starters.”

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1 Comment

I think it’s time to get non-traditional. Burn the box and think outside the ashes. I know the Rockies sort of tried this and failed, but let’s go the super reliever route. Put Rogers and Narveson in the bullpen, maybe Thornburg too. Go w/Gallardo/Estrada/Fiers/Peralta/Free Agent(ex.Pavano/Saunders/Liriano, someone low costed). Our major concern here is innings pitched, both on single game basis, and total season basis. We may not be able to count on 30+ games 180IP+ from Estrada/Fiers/Peralta, so give them around 5-6 innings and then have the super relievers pick up 2-3 innings. That lets us go w/young guys on an innings limit, while also letting Narveson work his way back from injury, Rogers work on his stuff in the majors and maybe even stretch out for a future rotation role, and slowly expose Thornburg to major league pitching. As I mentioned before Rockies tried and failed, but their’s was a very different scenario. They artificially imposed innings limits mid-season to a rotation that wasn’t very good and gave more innings to a bullpen that wasn’t very good. Our rotation is talented. They’re just young and need to be protected and stretched out. Same can be said about the super relievers. Anyway, it’s just a thought.

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