Macha enjoying new luxuries with bullpen

Macha enjoying new luxuries with bullpen

MILWAUKEE -- After using just two pitchers Friday, manager Ken Macha had seven of his eight relievers available Saturday against the Rangers. It's a luxury Macha hasn't been able to enjoy too many times this season.

After releasing Jeff Suppan, designating Claudio Vargas for assignment, and placing Todd Coffey and LaTroy Hawkins on the disabled list, the Brewers' bullpen looks a lot different than it did to open the season.

The bullpen now consists of Chris Capuano, Kameron Loe, Zach Braddock, John Axford, Chris Smith, David Riske, Carlos Villanueva and Trevor Hoffman. Of those eight, the last two are the only remaining members from the Opening Day roster.

"We're starting to lengthen out the bullpen," Macha said.

For much of the season, Macha's bullpen troubles consisted of pitchers not performing when called upon and a lack of pitchers available each day to begin with.

Macha was cautious not to get overconfident about his bullpen now.

"One game can put a wrench in that," Macha said. "The game in Minnesota where [Dave] Bush only got one out, that fired a wrench into it. Or it's like that Pirate game where we played [14] innings. That started us on the downside there a little bit. Then you're really struggling to see who's available."

Now, Macha's got a different problem to deal with, albeit one he's happy to have. Two of his newest relievers, Capuano and Riske, have just one appearance between the two of them on the homestand.

"It's to the point where some of the guys need work," Macha said. "I'd like to get Cappy in the game, get him a couple innings. But that's the value of the starter going seven innings."