PHOENIX -- Last year at this time, right-hander Marco Estrada was toiling in the Brewers' Minor League minicamp with little chance to make the Opening Day roster.
What a difference a year makes. Today, Estrada essentially has his spot locked up as the Brewers' long reliever and just-in-case starter.
"Last year, I didn't think I had a shot," he said. "My goal was just to get in the best shape that I could, and hopefully sometime down the line I would get an opportunity to get called up. Things changed."
Things changed when Zack Greinke cracked a rib playing basketball. Prospect Wily Peralta wasn't ready to step in, and Estrada got a call.
"It happened really fast," Estrada said. "I had maybe pitched one game over there when they called me over here and said they needed somebody to start."
He responded by going 3-2 with a 3.70 ERA in seven regular-season starts, and posting a 4.38 ERA in 36 often bullpen-saving relief appearances.
"I feel good, but I'm not acting any different now," he said. "I'm doing all the same things as last year, because nothing is guaranteed."