PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers are considering Mike Fiers' winter workload into their decision about a possible shutdown before the end of the season, meaning Fiers might not be shut down until deep into September, if at all.
Fiers has pitched 148 2/3 innings this season between Milwaukee and the Minor Leagues, topping his 128 innings in 2011 and his 125 innings in '10. But those totals do not include the 28 1/3 innings Fiers worked last year in the Venezuelan Winter League, or the 18 2/3 innings he pitched in the '10 Arizona Fall League.
The stint in Venezuela pushed Fiers to 154 1/3 innings in 2011, not including Spring Training. The Brewers prefer to limit pitchers to 120-130 percent of their previous season's workload, so, using that math, Fiers would get 185-200 innings in '12. That leaves him 35-50 additional innings.
That winter work explains why Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who has been asked at length about the team's plan for young arms like Fiers and Mark Rogers, continues to say that, "right now, I'm not thinking about that."
Fiers would prefer to pitch through the end of the season.
"I feel fine, and I hope I pitch the rest of the year," Fiers said. "I feel like, if you're healthy, you might as well pitch. ... I understand the whole idea of saving your arm and that you don't want to overdo it, especially if they want to get a look at some younger guys.
"I feel like, not that I'm stronger, but earlier in the year, I was maybe stronger, but I wasn't pitching right. Now that I'm in a groove, I'm pitching better, with better command, instead of throwing harder. It is a long year for everyone, but right now I have better control of my pitches and it feels better than earlier in the year. I feel good and I want to keep throwing."