MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are formulating a plan in the growing likelihood that left-handed starter Chris Narveson is not ready to return from the disabled list for Monday's doubleheader in Pittsburgh.
Zack Greinke will start one of the games, but the other remains in question. Narveson sliced the thumb on his throwing hand while fixing the stitching on his glove last week, and the wound has worsened since eight stitches were removed on Monday. He has been throwing with a bandage over the cut, and he will attempt to pitch a bullpen session on Saturday.
"If that doesn't go really
well Saturday, then we're not going to try to pitch him Monday," manager Ron Roenicke said.
In that event, the Brewers would have some options for the game that Greinke does not pitch.
The first possibility is to promote a starter from Triple-A Nashville. Roenicke said that club officials already have someone in mind, but declined to say who.
Conveniently on schedule is right-hander Wily Peralta, one of Milwaukee's top pitching prospects, who delivered seven shutout innings Wednesday in his second Triple-A start. He's already on the 40-man roster and is having a solid season, but failed to impress in Spring Training when the Brewers gave him an opportunity to win the No. 5 starter's job.
Another option is 26-year-old righty Michael Fiers, who last started Wednesday for Nashville and is 10-3 with a 2.26 ERA for two affiliates this season. He is not on the 40-man roster at the moment, but must be added by December to avoid exposure to the Rule 5 Draft. That makes him, at the very least, a likely September callup.
Or the Brewers could simply select a starter from within. The likely starter would be right-hander Frankie De La Cruz, who is currently in Milwaukee's bullpen. Until last week, Cruz was the No. 1 starter at Nashville, going 7-6 with a 3.88 ERA. Tim Dillard would be the first backup.
The team's preference is to start Greinke in Game 1. But if the Brewers were to start De La Cruz or a callup in the early game, they could make a roster move between games to add a fresh arm for Game 2.
"We've talked about both ways," Roenicke said.