Brewers officials talk state of team

Brewers officials talk state of team

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers officials met for an hour and a half on Monday to discuss the state of the team, and they came away with no major changes to announce.

That meant the lineup remained static for Monday's series finale against the Cardinals and the starting rotation remained the same at least through the end of the week.

"Sometimes you overreact," said general manager Doug Melvin, who plans to convene similar meetings once a month or so this season. "You move a guy who was right on the verge. I'd rather run the fine line of being patient than make a change just to make a change."

The meeting included Melvin, assistant general manager Gord Ash, field manager Ned Yost and his coaching staff and Karl Mueller, who leads the team's advance scouting efforts. Among the topics was the back end of the rotation and the inconsistency of right-handers Dave Bush and Carlos Villanueva and left-hander Manny Parra.

Entering Bush's outing against St. Louis on Monday, that trio was 2-10 with a 6.39 ERA. Had the Brewers opted to make a change, one of those spots probably would have gone to long reliever Seth McClung.

"The average fan might not see it, but there's stuff that we see us getting a little bit better at in certain areas," Yost said. "These are two -- Villanueva and Manny Parra. They're good, but they're young pitchers. You have to give them a leeway to continue to improve and hopefully get over the hump."

Parra was outstanding in his first start of the season and has struggled since.

"But he hasn't pitched horribly," Yost said.

And Parra took a big step by rebounding from a poor first two innings against the Cardinals on Friday to work through the fifth.

Villanueva's numbers have been skewed by a handful of very bad innings, Yost argued, especially in his two most recent starts, and the Brewers have identified a fix the manager would not elaborate on.

Yost also alluded to mechanical adjustments in the works for Bush.

"I don't know what you guys want, but we don't cut and run until its evident that we need to," Yost said. "We continue to work hard in the areas that will make us better, and we still see plenty of room for an improvement. We have an idea of what we think will make David Bush better, and David works his tail off to get better. That's what we will continue to do for the time being. That goes for all of our pitchers.

"We still see light at the end of the tunnel for these three guys. We still think that they can be a successful, productive part of our staff."

The Brewers are hampered in that they are short on backups. Jeff Weaver, who signed a Minor League deal with the team last month, was not as effective in his latest start for Triple-A Nashville on Sunday, according to Melvin, and once Weaver is called up to the Majors, he cannot be sent back down. Right-hander Mark DiFelice and left-hander Chris Narveson are even more unknown than Weaver.

McClung is 12-20 with a 6.18 ERA as a Major League starter, and he has spent all of this season as a reliever. The Brewers are not sure how much they could get out of McClung in a start.

"It may get to where we have to find out," Yost said. "But we're not there yet."

"We have to be a little careful," Melvin said. "We don't necessarily have the [pitching] depth you'd like to have."

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