TUCSON -- Brewers manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux will leave their five starters lined up throughout the first several weeks of April instead of keeping Opening Day starter Ben Sheets as close as possible to an every-fifth-day schedule.
That means Sheets will be followed by Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush from March 31-April 3 against the Cubs, and that Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra and Sheets will start against the Giants at Miller Park from April 4-6.
If things proceed to plan, Suppan, Bush and Villanueva would start against the Reds from April 8-10, and Parra, Sheets and Suppan would draw starting assignments from April 11-13 in New York.
The team could have pitched Sheets on regular rest April 5 against San Francisco, then debuted Parra on April 6. But keeping Sheets on a tight schedule would unnecessarily jumble everybody else, Yost said, and would only net Sheets one extra start in the opening month.
"We'll go straight five all the way," Yost said. "If I skip, it raises more havoc with the two and three starters than if I didn't. I'd rather have guys going on an extra day one around."
Yost and Maddux may have to re-evaluate the rotation after April 9 or 14, when right-hander Yovani Gallardo should have reached the 100-pitch mark in his rehab from knee surgery.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.