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Follow-Up Thoughts on Brewers’ Minor League Starting Pitchers

Yes, I’ll admit that I am obsessing about the Brewers’ starting pitcher situation.  I’m not worried about Randy Wolf or Yovani Gallardo…but the tandem of Jeff Suppan, Dave Bush, Doug Davis and Manny Parra makes be more uncomfortable than underwear that is four sizes too small (don’t ask me how I know this).

Last post, I identified 12 possible starting pitchers that could wind up as starters for AAA Nashville and potentially mid-season replacements; after subtracting out Mark Rogers and Mike Jones–who I think will join fellow Manatees Amaury Rivas, Evan Anundsen, and Michael Bowman at AA Huntsville as the best rotation in the Southern League in ’10–I decided to handicap the five starters’ spots for the Sounds:

  1. Chris Narveson, age 28–4 starts for the Brew Crew last year, he’s in camp and been mentioned by Doug Melvin as a longshot to make the 25-man.
  2. Josh Butler, age 25–went 1-1, 3.60 in 3 starts for the Sounds after posting a 2-1, 2.85 in 8 starts for AA Huntsville in ’09.
  3. Chris Cody, age 26–showed early season promise at AAA Nashville at the start of last season.
  4. Marco Estrada, age 26–a guess based on his major league experience and being younger and more possible upside than the remaining arms.
  5. TBD: the last spot is up for grabs of these remaining six pitchers (age in parentheses): Chris Capuano (31), Tim Dillard (26), John Halama (38), Cameron Loe (28), Mike Burns (31), Chris Waters (29).

Age is working against these last six (actually, the last eight)…but with five promising starters at AA Huntsville this year and, hopefully, ready for Nashville in 2011 and Milwaukee in 2012, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin will be choosing the 2010 Nashville rotation on who might be able to help the Brewers this season and who might be able to replace Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan at the back end of the rotation next year.

Personally, I’d like to see Capuano complete his comeback…but he’s got lots of competition to contend with.