Brewers play it safe with Rogers, cut season short

Brewers play it safe with Rogers, cut season short

MILWAUKEE -- It's official: Brewers right-hander Mark Rogers has made the final start of a successful bounce-back season.

Club officials informed Rogers on Saturday afternoon they were shutting him down, a preemptive move meant to protect Rogers' surgically-repaired right arm from injury after he pushed into uncharted innings territory this season.

In 25 starts between Triple-A Nashville and Milwaukee, including Friday's win over the Pirates, Rogers was 9-7 with a 4.49 ERA. He worked only 44 1/3 innings in a 2011 season cut short by a wrist injury, as well as a suspension that stemmed from a tainted supplement.

"I kind of expected it, but at the same time, I still want to be pitching," Rogers said. "I think if I didn't want to keep pitching, that would be a problem. I still feel very good, I'm competitive, and things are going well right now. Obviously you want to take the ball every five days, especially because I don't feel like we're out of it right now. We're right there.

"Then again, there's a lot of people smarter than me making that decision. I've been down the injury road before. That is the very last thing I want to happen, so it's nice to go into the offseason being able to say I am 100 percent healthy."

He allowed one Pirates run in 5 1/3 innings on Friday night to win his third consecutive start. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was reluctant to make Rogers' shut-down official after the game because the organization's decision had not yet been communicated to the player himself.

Rogers, 26, will remain active with the Brewers throughout September, but barring an emergency pinch-hit appearance, he is very unlikely to play.

Roenicke, pitching coach Rick Kranitz, general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash met with Rogers and billed the decision as a positive.

"Frankly, if I still had question marks about him, or Doug still had question marks about him, he would probably pitch again a few more times to really get a feel on, 'Can he pitch here,'" Roenicke said. But Rogers has already answered that question, Roenicke said, so the Brewers will promote a pitcher following Nashville's season finale on Monday to replace Rogers. Roenicke declined to name names, but it will probably be Wily Peralta, who also pitched Friday and could easily slide into Rogers' spot beginning Wednesday in Miami.

Peralta made his Major League debut in relief on April 22, but has yet to make his first big league start. At some point later in the month, the Brewers are expected to insert another prospect, Tyler Thornburg, into the rotation.

Rogers will have a front row seat for the rest of the season.

"I'll try to make the most of this time that I have here, because it is valuable time," he said.