After signing Kyle Lohse to a three-year, $33 million deal earlier this week, the Brewers suddenly have more starting pitchers than rotation spots. While early indications were that Mike Fiers would be the odd man out, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Chris Narveson will begin the season in the bullpen.
Narveson is coming off surgery last May to repair tears in his labrum and rotator cuff, so the Brewers see this as an opportunity limit his workload in the early going. The 31-year-old southpaw has a 5.50 ERA and 10/6 K/BB ratio over 18 innings this spring and was knocked around for six runs over 3 2/3 innings in his most recent start.
“He’s OK, but he’s been really pushing through this thing in Spring Training, through the surgery,” Roenicke said. “In the long run, it’s probably going to help him to limit his innings at the start.”
The Brewers will begin the season with a rotation consisting of Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta, Loshe, and Fiers.
Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.
There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.
The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.