MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had an extended meeting with his pitching gurus on Tuesday to discuss a variety of upcoming options for the starting rotation.Left-hander Chris Narveson is out for the year with a shoulder injury, and right-hander Marco Estrada will start in his place. The question is how the Brewers will handle a pair of upcoming off-days -- one Thursday and another on May 3. They could keep all five starters in line, giving them extra rest between starts. But that would mean three straight starts on extra rest for righty Zack Greinke, who much prefers pitching every fifth day. So the Brewers are considering keeping their big boys -- Yovani Gallardo and Greinke -- on schedule and bumping Estrada back a few days. Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz explored the options Tuesday. They'll have some decisions by Wednesday. "We talked to Zack about it. We need to talk to 'Yo' about it to find out where we are," Roenicke said. "Marco, he's throwing well. It's not like I want to skip him. ... If we didn't have any days off, I would feel great about the five guys."
Narveson to undergo season-ending surgery
MILWAUKEE -- The second opinion on Chris Narveson's aching left shoulder was the same as the first, so the left-hander will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a partial tear to his rotator cuff.Narveson had sought a second opinion from noted orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, who confirmed the suggestion of surgery made by Brewers medical staffers, including Dr. William Raasch. The arthroscopic procedure requires a 6-9 month rehabilitation. In other words, Narveson's 2012 season is over after only two starts. He felt discomfort in his shoulder the morning after an April 15 loss in Atlanta. "It's a shorter rehab than your Tommy John [elbow surgery]," Narveson said. "But it's pretty big." He knows. Narveson, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2002, then had another significant procedure in 2005 to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. That shoulder surgery sidelined him for more than seven months. The upcoming procedure comes at a complicated time, because Narveson will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He had won at least 11 games and pitched at least 160 innings in each of the past two seasons. He will not get a chance to make it three productive seasons in a row. "It's always a tough realization," Narveson said, "especially when it starts to sink in and you hear what's going on. But at the same time, you know it's a team sport. That's why guys are here, to step in and help the team win." Manager Ron Roenicke said right-hander Marco Estrada would continue making starts in Narveson's spot. Estrada pitched well in his starting debut against the Rockies on Saturday, but the Brewers lost in the late innings. "I've had some talks with [Narveson]," Roenicke said. "According to what Raasch says, this surgery should be real successful, but anytime, I think, if you have surgery and you're talking about a shoulder, there's still a question mark. That's the hard part." Narveson plans to rejoin the team after his surgery. Assistant general manager Gord Ash said club officials and Narveson will meet in the coming days to chose a time and place for the procedure. Even with the long timetable, there is some urgency to get the surgery done so Narveson can begin his rehabilitation. "[Yocum] said there was the potential you could try to rehab it, but with the partial tear like that, you could either rehab it and be fine, or you could risk tearing the rest of it," Narveson said. "When they can go in and fix it, it's better to do that and be 100 percent, rather than flip a coin and not know what it's going to do. ... "It's all about your outlook. You have to be positive. You know it's going to be long, you know it's going to be grueling, you know there's going to be days where it aches or hurts. A lot of times, the real work comes later on, when you get back on the mound."
Gamel out of lineup day after collision at home
MILWAUKEE -- Mat Gamel came away from his first-ever home-plate collision with a sore left shoulder and an unwanted day off.Both Gamel and Astros catcher Jason Castro were out of the starting lineups Tuesday, but it appears Gamel got the worst of their collision in the sixth inning of Monday's Brewers' win. Gamel tagged from third base and tried to score on a foul pop to Astros first baseman Carlos Lee, who made a perfect throw that beat Gamel home. Castro had the plate blocked, so Gamel lowered his right shoulder. Castro held on for the inning-ending out. Gamel underwent precautionary X-rays after the game to ensure the shoulder -- on his non-throwing side -- was not separated. It was only bruised. "We're on our own on that play," he said after watching a replay on Tuesday afternoon. "Lee's catch, throw, everything was perfect. If he's off even a little bit there, then that's the difference in the play at the plate. I probably don't even have to take the guy out. But, hey, it was perfect all the way around on their part." Gamel made sure Castro was not hurt before returning to the dugout. Castro reiterated on Tuesday that he had no ill will, but Astros manager Brad Mills had a different view of the play. "My first thought, he must have had the plate blocked, and then I found out he didn't have the plate blocked and I said, 'C'mon, man,'" Mills said. "I never want to hurt somebody," Gamel said. "That's never the goal. It's just playing the game hard." Gamel was not sure if he would miss more than Tuesday's game. Manager Ron Roenicke hopes to have Gamel back; he's been one of the Brewers' most productive hitters so far, with a .281 average and six RBIs. "It's nice that they play hard," Roenicke said. "But a little slide would have been nice, too."
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum presented Brewers closer John Axford on Tuesday with its Tip O'Neill Award in a pregame ceremony. The award goes to "the player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball's highest ideals."Canadian-born Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash were on the field for Axford's award presentation. Melvin will be inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame this summer. Brewers outfield prospect and 40-man roster member Brock Kjeldgaard will be sidelined 6-8 weeks by a left thumb injury, Ash said. Kjeldgaard has ligament damage in the joint suffered on a slide several days ago. He will be examined in Phoenix on Thursday by hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan, who will determine whether surgery is necessary. Kjeldgaard was placed on Double-A Huntsville's disabled list, along with infielder Jeff Bianchi, who has a minor hamstring strain, according to Ash. At Triple-A Nashville, right-hander Josh Butler exited Tuesday's start complaining of right elbow discomfort and was placed on the DL. He had yet to be evaluated as of Tuesday afternoon but will miss at least 10-14 days, Ash said.
Class A Brevard County right-hander Hiram Burgos took a perfect game into the seventh inning and a no-hitter into the ninth on Tuesday night at Clearwater. With the teams scoreless in the bottom of the ninth inning, Burgos lost his bid on a leadoff double, then lost the game, 1-0, when reliever Brian Garman surrendered a walk-off single.
Burgos, 26, was Milwaukee's sixth-round Draft pick in 2009.