The time for batting practice against machines and teammates is over…the Crew starts Cactus League play on Wednesday, facing off against the A’s.
New skipper Ken Macha has named his Cactus League rotation: Jeff Suppan gets the A’s on Wednesday, followed by Yovani Gallardo versus the Cubs on Thursday, Manny Parra hurls against the A’s on Friday, newcomer Braden Looper sees the Angels on Saturday, and Dave Bush gets the Giants on Sunday.
MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy notes that this would align the rotation for the regular season:
Macha could start the season with the same order if all five starters
take one extra day of rest before camp breaks. That would leave Suppan
lined up for April 7 in San Francisco, marking his fourth career
Opening Day assignment and his first for the Brewers. Under that
scenario, Gallardo and Parra would pitch the other two games against
the Giants and newcomer Looper would work the April 10 home opener
against the Cubs.
I, for one, hope that this is not Macha’s thinking…first, I hope he is using Spring Training as a first-hand way to view each of his starter’s for himself, and not rely upon their experience or their salary as the primary criteria for setting his rotation. Also, I’d like to see Seth McClung get a start somewhere along the way.
My guess is that Macha will leave the above rotation for at least two rounds, as each starter is only likely to get 2-3 innings of work the first two Cactus League starts, and Macha will not be able to tell how effective each pitcher is after 60 or 70 pitches until late March.
Can’t wait ’til Wednesday!