Rogers looks at positives in mixed-results start

PHOENIX -- Brewers starter Mark Rogers did not allow an earned run in three innings against the D-backs on Thursday, but he did not exactly cruise, either. He walked three batters and surrendered two unearned runs on an Eric Chavez homer.

But Rogers was looking at the positives after his outing, including some increased life on his fastball and the fact he was able to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam in a long first inning without allowing a run.

"I'm not sure [how many pitches I threw in that inning]. Too many," Rogers said. "It was nice to get out of it. Part of Spring Training is getting out of those jams you're going to face in the year, so it was nice to execute some pitches when I had to and get out of it. Hopefully, it goes a little smoother."

Rogers' spring has not been entirely smooth so far. He worked so hard during the offseason -- reporting daily to Maryvale Baseball Park to take advantage of the Brewers' year-round workout facility -- that he developed a tired arm after Spring Training began. In his previous outing, an early-morning exhibition against Italy's World Baseball Classic club, Rogers walked four batters in two innings.

He felt better back on the main field Thursday. Rogers is among a young trio of starters vying for a spot in the Opening Day rotation.

"I'm not sure what [my velocity] was, but I know it was better today," Rogers said. "So, it's getting there. It's just a matter of building off every bullpen, every at-bat."

Rogers was second in a run of young Brewers starting pitchers. Mike Fiers worked Wednesday against the Mariners, Tyler Thornburg is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Rangers and Wily Peralta is slated for Saturday against the Reds.

"For any of these young guys to go out right now and pitch well, I think it certainly helps their confidence as we move forward," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I'm not looking at today [as make or break], but I know they are."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.