MILWAUKEE -- Assuming injured starter Chris Narveson faces an extended absence, general manager Doug Melvin said the Brewers will try to fill from within before exploring external pitching options.
Narveson is on the 15-day disabled list with a tear to the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Brewers doctors have recommended surgery that would likely end Narveson's season, though he will seek a second opinion.
Right-hander Marco Estrada started Saturday against the Rockies in Narveson's place, with top prospect Wily Peralta up temporarily from Triple-A Nashville and available as backup. Peralta is only expected to stay while reliever Kameron Loe is on the bereavement list, so it appears Estrada will get an extended look.
"We'll go this route for now," Melvin said. "Wily will more than likely be at Triple-A and stay ready. This gives you a little bit of time to look at [Estrada], the same way he filled in for [Zack] Greinke last year."
If Estrada falters, or the Brewers decide he's more valuable in the bullpen, they could try Peralta. Or, club officials could explore outside options. If they try to trade for a starter, the Brewers' strongest area of depth is in the outfield. If Melvin looks to the open market, the most talked-about free agent remains Roy Oswalt, who has been throwing bullpens every other day to stay ready, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Oswalt has been linked most often to the Red Sox and Cardinals.
The Brewers have already pushed their payroll well past their original expectations, over the $100 million mark. But principal owner Mark Attanasio has been aggressive before when Melvin has identified "the right player."
For now, the Brewers view Estrada as that guy.
"It just means you have to keep your eyes and ears open, but you let him have the opportunity," Melvin said.