MILWAUKEE -- When they met behind closed doors in the manager's office in Spring Training, Ron Roenicke did not exactly promise Brewers right-hander Mike McClendon, "You'll be back."
But Roenicke made clear in that meeting, held to inform McClendon that he wouldn't be on Milwaukee's Opening Day roster, that the big right-hander would be high on the Brewers' list of in-season call-ups.
"I told him we liked what we saw out of him [in Spring Training]," Roenicke said. "We've always liked what we've seen out of him because he's a strike-thrower. Myself, Rick [Kranitz, the pitching coach] and the guys upstairs are all comfortable with a guy who will come in and challenge people. You don't have to worry about him coming in and walking the bases loaded."
The Brewers called-up McClendon on Friday to replace Marco Estrada, who moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation with lefty Chris Narveson sidelined by a shoulder injury.
McClendon, 27, also appeared briefly in the Majors in 2010 and 2011. He has a 2.86 ERA in his first 26 big league appearances.
"I'm just enjoying the moments I do have here," he said. "I know they were happy with how I showed up in spring and how I was throwing the ball in Spring Training. I definitely took that as a good [thing] and I kept it rolling through the beginning of the season.
"I still feel like I did when I left Spring Training. This is the best, I feel, like I've been doing. The ball is coming out of my hand a little bit smoother than it has in the past. Stuff-wise, it's about as good as it has been, ever. And command has been there, too. Can't complain right now."