The Brewers move Chris Narveson to the bullpen

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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.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.