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Roenicke plans to realign bullpen, bench

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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' days of an eight-man bullpen and four-man bench are numbered.

Manager Ron Roenicke has been working with that unconventional alignment since June 14, but he prefers to carry seven relievers and five bench bats. He suggested a change could be coming this week, as the Brewers near the end of a stretch of 20 games in as many days.

"We talked about that today, I talked to [general manager] Doug [Melvin] about it this morning," Roenicke said. "We'll see how we get through this series and maybe the next one. We'd like to get back to a five-man bench."

The extra arm came in handy during the team's long stretch of games, especially because Tom Gorzelanny was just coming back from a shoulder injury and Rule 5 Draft pick Wei-Chung Wang still hasn't worked his way into regular use. But Roenicke has been prevented at times over the past 10 days from using a pinch-hitter in situations he'd like.

The schedule will allow a change. The Brewers are off June 30 and July 3 around a two-game series in Toronto.

One candidate to be sent out is right-hander Mike Fiers, who had been excelling as a starter at Triple-A Nashville before joining the Milwaukee bullpen and sitting mostly idle.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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