The Brewers have already received a lot of attention for their new-look rotation, and will probably continue to get a lot. As good as they could potentially be, the lack of depth is a bit worrisome. Apparently, though, it’s an issue that Ron Roenicke won’t think about until it comes up. As he told Adam McCalvy:
“I’ll take our five starters, and we’ll work out the others,” Roenicke said.
Questions about starting pitching depth are starting to come up now that Mark Rogers has struggled with shoulder stiffness and Manny Parra has back pain that no one seems to be able to figure out. If Parra was supposed to be Starter #6 and Rogers #7, the team may now be in trouble if the injury bug creeps into the top five.
How much trouble? When asked who would step in, Roenicke had to grab a copy of the roster to look over the options.
After skimming through the list of available names, Roenicke came up with Tim Dillard, Wily Peralta, and Amaury Rivas. Not exactly a list you want to see if you have playoff aspirations. At this point, Dillard is what he is. Rivas and Peralta are still probably a year or two away from being truly big league-ready.
This is a situation that we probably should have seen coming when the club didn’t make much of an effort to bring back the likes of Chris Capuano or Dave Bush (although it’s understandable why those two wanted to go elsewhere). While Parra and Rogers have the ability to be very good in a spot starter role, at this point we also probably should have seen injuries coming. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and a lot of people were blinded by post-Greinke hysteria.
Right now, the options don’t look very good, especially if someone in the rotation has to miss significant time. If there’s a reason for optimism, though, it’s that all five of the Brewers’ starters are expected to be low injury risks, at least according to Will Carroll’s Team Health Report. With any luck, the team won’t need a sixth starter — or at least won’t need one until later in the season.