Results tagged ‘ Marco Estrada ’

Estrada has inside track on fifth starter spot

The Brewers’ list of in-house candidates to replace injured starter Zack Greinke at the start of the season has been whittled down to one — Right-hander Marco Estrada, who made a statement Wednesday with 4 1/3 scoreless innings against the Padres. 

The Brewers are also looking at about a half-dozen pitchers in other camps who could become available in the final days of Spring Training. One name under consideration is former Milwaukee right-hander Dave Bush, a non-roster invitee for Texas who appears unlikely to make that team’s roster. 
“Doug [Melvin, the team’s general manager] is still looking,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. 
But if the Brewers stay in-house, it will be Estrada. He’ll start again Saturday against the Mariners, bumping right-hander Shaun Marcum to Sunday’s game against the White Sox. Marcum missed his last start with a stiff shoulder, but the Brewers are confident he’ll be able to start the regular season as the No. 2 starter, debuting April 2 against the Reds. 
With Greinke out with a cracked rib, the Brewers expect to need a fifth starter for the first time on April 6 against the Braves. They won’t need a start from that spot again until April 16, by which time right-hander Mark Rogers could also be an option. 
Considering Estrada “is basically who we’re looking at” for April 6, according to Roenicke, it means the Brewers are no longer looking at right-hander Wily Peralta, a 21-year-old top prospect who struggled in his Cactus League outings. Peralta has made just eight starts above the Class-A level. 
“That’s asking a lot from him” to jump to the Majors, Roenicke said. “For me, he’s just too young of a guy. I know sometimes guys at that young age can do it, but I don’t know if that’s realistic.”
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Estrada steps up

Minor League right-hander Marco Estrada made a strong bid for a spot in Milwaukee’s April pitching rotation on Tuesday, when he held the Padres scoreless on three singles over 4 1/3 innings at Maryvale Baseball Park. He struck out four, walked one and received lots of high-fives after reaching the dugout from teammates who well-know that the Brewers need somebody to step up.
The 27-year-old Estrada, who pitched briefly for the Brewers last season, is among a handful of internal candidates to make April starts in place of Zack Greinke, who will begin the regular season on the disabled list with a cracked rib. 
Estrada would rather not think about that competition. 
“I’m trying not to, too much,” he said. “I’m trying to go out and do all of my lifts, throw the ball, stay in shape, keep my head down and work hard. If it happens, great. I’ll be the happiest guy in the world. If it doesn’t, I’ll keep busting my butt and get up there eventually.” 
The Brewers need a fifth starter on April 6, and then again April 16 and 26 if Greinke remains sidelined. 
Estrada is not even a member of big-league camp, but started Tuesday’s “A” game against the Padres in place of 21-year-old prospect Wily Peralta, who recorded only one out against the Rockies last week and was shifted to a Minor League game instead. 
“It felt great, especially being able to start over there. That’s what I love to do,” said Estrada, who had already returned to the club’s Minor League complex by the time reporters tracked him down. “I felt good out there. I felt confident and I threw strikes.” 
Manager Ron Roenicke will confer with pitching coach Rick Kranitz before finalizing the rotation for the final week of Spring Training, but guessed that Estrada will get another “A” game start. 
“[Kranitz] liked the way he pitched,” Roenicke said. “His change-up was good, he had nice movement on his fastball and he threw some breaking balls that were pretty nice, too. We know he throws strikes. That’s what he did for [the Brewers] last year. We know he has experience with a couple of games, so he shouldn’t freak out. 
“He’s definitely a possibility.”
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Lots of moves, plus lineup

Catching up after some trouble at the baggage claim…

— The Brewers voided right-hander Marco Estrada’s optional assignment on Friday and placed him on the Major League 15-day disabled list with shoulder fatigue. Estrada, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, must have developed the problem during his time with the Brewers, and Major League rules state that you can’t option down injured players. The Brewers made a similar move earlier this year with righty Josh Butler, who had elbow trouble. 
— Right-hander Claudio Vargas was granted his unconditional release. The Brewers designated Vargas for assignment last weekend to clear a roster spot for Chris Capuano. 
— The Brewers reinstated infielder Mat Gamel from the 60-day DL and formally optioned him to Nashville. Gamel was already with the Sounds as he works back from a right shoulder/upper back injury. This move explains why infielder Adam Heether was waived earlier this week and subsequently claimed by the A’s.
— Oh yeah, there is a game tonight. The Brewers begin a three-game series against St. Louis and manager Ken Macha has left-hander Randy Wolf batting eighth for his second straight start. Here it is:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Jim Edmonds  CF
Corey Hart  RF
George Kottaras  C
Randy Wolf  LHP
Alcides Escobar  SS
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Sunday scrambler

It promises to be a very interesting Sunday afternoon for the Brewers, who will try to avoid a three-game Twins sweep behind Marco Estrada, who appeared in relief on Saturday afternoon. In case you missed it, here’s my story from yesterday detailing the postgame moves.

And here’s the lineup, which was changed at some point in the hours before game time. Ryan Braun was originally to serve as the DH with Jody Gerut in left field Casey McGehee at third. Instead, Braun played left, McGehee was the DH and Craig Counsell the third baseman. So here’s the updated list:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  DH
Corey Hart  RF
Craig Counsell  3B
Alcides Escobar  SS
George Kottaras  C
RHP Marco Estrada
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Estrada to start Sunday; Braddock coming up

Sunday’s series finale could be a bit of a scramble for the Brewers. 

The team optioned left-hander Mitch Stetter to Triple-A Nashville after Saturday’s long loss to the Twins and recalled another left-hander, Zach Braddock, to serve as a fresh arm in the bullpen. Marco Estrada, who threw 21 pitches in relief today, will start Sunday’s series finale. Manager Ken Macha said that Manny Parra, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday, said he could also work a couple of innings of needed after he threw 29 pitches in 1 2/3 innings on Saturday in taking the loss. 

Why aren’t the Brewers bringing up a starter from Nashville? Logistics. With a 1 p.m. CT game on Sunday and the Triple-A club in Fresno, Calif., no flights were available that would get a pitcher to Minneapolis in time. 
The Brewers also considered a promotion for Double-A Huntsville’s Amaury Rivas, who already is on the 40-man roster, but again travel issues blocked the move. 
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Morning report

Some notes from Ken Macha’s morning meeting with reporters:

All of a sudden the Brewers have quite a little medical report, though all of the bumps and bruises Macha ran through on Friday were considered minor. Here are some of them:
– Third baseman Mat Gamel, scratched from Thursday’s Cactus League opener because of a sore right shoulder, was to take some swings off a tee on Friday morning and was tentatively listed to travel with the split-squad headed to Tucson on Saturday to play the Rockies. But Macha cautioned that the assignment could change based on how Gamel felt later Friday. 
– Josh Butler (triceps) was scheduled for a 40-pitch bullpen session and Kyle Heckathorn (rib cage) was to throw some live batting practice on Friday. The Brewers are taking a very cautious approach with both right-handed pitching prospects early in camp, and that was fine with Butler. 
“I never had to stop throwing because of this; they’re just taking it easy on me,” said Butler, who knocked on wood after saying he had so far avoided major arm injuries in his career. “There is still so much time left in Spring Training. It’s frustrating not to go play in these games right now, but it will happen. There’s no reason to rush it.”
Butler will get into a Cactus League game at some point but Macha still won’t completely commit about Heckathorn, who was the Brewers’ supplemental first-round Draft pick last year.
Macha also said that organizational newcomer Marco Estrada, another right-hander, was dealing with a minor neck issue but was to play catch on Friday. If that went well, Estrada would be scheduled to pitch against the Rockies in Tucson.
Speaking of that game, Eric Arnett, the Brewers’ first selection in last year’s Draft, is also on the list for Tucson and Macha would like to see him get into the game late. If he does, the skipper will see the raw right-hander in person; Macha is going to travel with the road crew instead of staying home to see Randy Wolf lead another split-squad against the Giants. 
Jim Edmonds was penciled in to start in right field on Friday against the A’s for his unofficial Brewers debut. Macha is not quite ready to commit to how much playing time Edmonds will see this spring, but expects to use him at all three outfield positions and at first base. I’ll have more on Edmonds a bit later today. 
Today’s starting lineup against the A’s looks like this. Macha was at first considering a day off for Gomez, but bench coach Willie Randolph suggested they keep him in:
Weeks  2B
Gomez  CF
Braun  LF
Edmonds  RF
Zaun  DH
Kottaras  C
Escobar  SS
Heether  3B
Wilson  1B
Gallardo  P
Other pitchers on the travel roster include Tim Dillard, LaTroy Hawkins, A.J. Murray, Mark Rogers, Mitch Stetter and Carlos Villanueva.
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Dillard clears waivers, sticks with Brewers

The Brewers announced Friday that right-hander Tim Dillard had cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Nashville. The team removed him from the 40-man roster on Wednesday to clear a spot for waiver pick-up Marco Estrada

Dillard, 26, appeared briefly for the Brewers in both 2008 and 2009 but walked 11 versus six strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. He has struggled to translate his raw “stuff” — including a heavy, sinking fastball — into sustained big league success. 
“That may be because we’ve switched roles on him. He’s started, he’s relieved, we’ve even thought about him closing out games, which didn’t seem to work out,” Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash said. “There are players that just don’t make that transition as easily as others, and he has not made it.” 
Dillard was 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 24 starts at Nashville last season. He was the Brewers’ 34th round Draft pick in 2002.
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Brewers claim righty from Nationals

Based on a strong recommendation from their new Triple-A pitching coach, the Brewers on Wednesday claimed right-hander Marco Estrada off waivers from the Washington Nationals. 

To clear a spot on the full 40-man roster for Estrada, the Brewers designated right-hander Tim Dillard for assignment. 
Estrada, 26, made 15 appearances during brief stints in the Majors with Washington in 2008 and 2009 but spent most of last season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 9-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts and two relief appearances. His pitching coach at the end of the season was Rich Gale, who was hired by the Brewers in October to serve the same role beginning next season at Triple-A Nashville.
“Based on Rich’s recommendation, we decided to make a claim,” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “He’s not exactly young at 26, but he’s a younger guy that we had some strong reports on.”
Estrada has two Minor League options remaining. 
Dillard, also 26, appeared briefly for the Brewers in both 2008 and 2009 but walked 11 versus six strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. He has struggled to translate his raw “stuff” — including a heavy, sinking fastball — into sustained big league success. 
“That may be because we’ve switched roles on him. He’s started, he’s relieved, we’ve even thought about him closing out games, which didn’t seem to work out,” Ash said. “There are players that just don’t make that transition as easily as others, and he has not made it. 
“Hopefully, we can work out a way to keep Dillard. If we lose him, it’s like making a trade [for Estrada] I guess.”
Dillard was 11-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 24 starts at Nashville last season. He was the Brewers’ 34th round Draft pick in 2002.
Estrada will wear uniform No. 74 from the Brewers.
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