Cactus League starts

Well, was pondering which Brewers’ starters would get scheduled for which Cactus League games, and, assuming that Ned Yost wants to get starters into their five-day rotation, here’s a guesstimate of who will pitch when:
Ben Sheets…on the 1’s and 6’s: first start…either 3/01 at Rockies or 3/06 vs. Mariners
Jeff Suppan…on the 3’s and 8’s: first start…either 3/03 vs. Padres or 3/08 vs. Royals
Carlos Villanueva…now on the 4’s and 9’s: first start…3/04 at Cubs (preview of his 4/03 start against them)
Yost will likely announce his starters in the next day or so for Thursday’s Cactus League opener against Oakland. The start is largely meaningless, as whoever starts typically pitches just two or three innings, at most, before giving way to another pitcher. By process of elimination, I doubt that Yost wants to expose the older Sheets or Suppan to live action right away for fear of risking their burn out down the stretch. Chris Capuano will likely be nurtered a bit, too, coming off an injury. Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas, then, would seem to be the leading candidates–Yost wants to get a few extra looks at each to determine his rotation; Doug Melvin wants to give them a few extra outings to showcase their skills for a trade. The other will probably start on Friday–also against the A’s, but at their field. My guess is that Bush gets the nod in Maryvale for the Brewers’ fans, while Vargas will get the road start on Friday.

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