Notes: Starter needed for Saturday

Notes: Starter needed for Saturday

MILWAUKEE -- This, and not much more, is known about the Brewers' starting pitcher for Saturday: It will not be Dana Eveland.

After Thursday's win over the Giants, the Brewers announced they would recall right-handed knuckleballer Jared Fernandez from Triple-A Nashville on Friday, when the team begins a three-game series against the Dodgers.

Fernandez took the roster spot held to this point by Tomo Ohka, who is out at least four weeks with a shoulder injury. The Brewers still have not named a probable starter for Saturday, and Fernandez and right-hander Ben Hendrickson are among the options.

"That's not all the options," a cryptic Brewers manager Ned Yost said before boarding the team charter to Los Angeles. "I'll wait, make my mind up -- maybe -- tomorrow. We've got time."

Hendrickson threw 78 pitches in long relief Tuesday night, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin believes he would be fine for five or six innings on short rest.

The Brewers apparently decided to pass for now on Eveland, who struggled in Spring Training but had a 0.75 ERA in six starts at Nashville heading into a scheduled start Thursday night. He struck out 24 batters vs. just three walks in his first 24 innings.

"He was in the mix," Yost said.

Can you give me a jump? Yost may be shuffling Brady Clark up and down the batting order of late, but he made one thing clear Thursday:

"Brady is our center fielder," Yost said.

Clark was back in the leadoff hole when Rickie Weeks had the day off Wednesday, but moved back down to the No. 8 hole for the series finale against the Giants. Clark has seen most of his action in the eight-hole of late.

He had two of the Brewers' five hits Wednesday but went 0-for-4 on Thursday and has just six hits in his last 36 at-bats (.167) and is batting .202 for the season. Still, Yost sees signs of improvement.

"He's not dragging the bat head through the zone," Yost said. "He's throwing the bat head at the ball a little more, driving the ball more often."

Clark has been spending even more time than usual in the batting cage with hitting coach Butch Wynegar. Does Clark think all of the extra work is starting to bring on-field success?

"I hope so," he said. "The toughest thing to do is take what you do in the cage and correlate it out there without thinking. The last thing you want to do is be thinking, 'OK, this is what I was doing in the cage.' I've caught myself doing that.

"You want it to come naturally. The only thing you should be thinking about is the ball."

It came pretty naturally in 2005. Clark says he made some tweaks along the way, but he avoided a major slump on the way to batting a team-high .306. He avoided salary arbitration over the winter by signing a two-year, $7 million contract.

Good news, bad news: Left-hander Manny Parra made his 2006 debut Wednesday night for Class A Brevard County, but there was more bad news after the game for another highly touted Brewers Minor Leaguer.

Right-hander Mike Jones, a former first-round draft pick who missed all of 2005 with a shoulder injury, reported some discomfort in that same shoulder after a 1 2/3-inning relief stint. He allowed five runs on three hits, four walks and a wild pitch. Jones had pitched extremely well in five games (2.53 ERA).

"We don't know if its soreness or, 'I need an excuse because I got raked in this game,'" said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash. "We'll wait a few days.

"I'm not saying he's not uncomfortable or not experiencing pain, but most of the guys who've gotten here [to the Majors] and have been successful know that's part of the game. You're never going to feel 100 percent. The mental part is such a huge component and everybody is different."

The Brewers committed a total of about $3.5 million in signing bonuses to Jones, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 draft, and Parra, who was taken in the 26th round of the same draft and signed the following spring.

Parra started Wednesday's game and allowed three runs on four hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings, though he struck out four. He had shoulder surgery last August and experienced a setback in Spring Training.

"You can talk about potential forever, but at some point, you've got to deliver. Until you deliver, you don't count," Ash said. "Mike Jones has all the physical tools to be a prospect, but he isn't right now because he can't perform."

On deck: Relatively cool temperatures will make the West Coast feel like home for the Brewers beginning Friday, when they begin a six-game trip to California with a 9:40 p.m. CT start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Chris Capuano, coming off his first Major League shutout -- a four-hitter against the Cubs -- will start Friday against righty Derek Lowe.

After three games at Dodger Stadium, the Brewers will bus to San Diego for an off-day Monday followed by a three-game set against the Padres.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.