Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday the club will probably begin the season with 13 pitchers until newly signed Kyle Lohse builds his innings. Though he didn't identify the odd man out of the rotation to make room for Lohse, Roenicke said that pitcher likely would move to bullpen duty. That pitcher is expected to be right-hander Mike Fiers. By carrying 13 pitchers, one of two non-roster players in camp should make the staff - Donovan Hand or Alfredo Figaro. Both have been impressive in exhibition play though their styles differ dramatically. Figaro, 28, a power pitcher signed to a minor-league deal after a strong showing in the Dominican Winter League, has compiled a 1.84 earned run average in 10 innings, with eight hits, three runs and five walks allowed in 14 2/3 innings. He has struck out 10 and held opponents to a .163 batting average. Hand, 26, a command pitcher who has been in the organization since being taken in the 14th round of the 2007 draft, has a 0.69 ERA in nine outings, with 11 hits, one run and one walk in 13 innings. He has five strikeouts and opponents have batted .229 against him. "They've both been really good," said Roenicke. "It's nice when you see guys fighting for a job and they're able to pitch that well. There's pressure on them. They're trying to impress us, and when you do that under some stress, then you feel good about when they're stressed out in a game how they're going to perform." Roenicke said Hand was under consideration for a promotion last year from Class AAA Nashville, but that move never took place. "I really didn't know anything about him last year, so it was nice to see him in spring training and see the guy they were talking about," said Roenicke. "They talked about a command guy. When you have a guy that doesn't have the 96, 97 (mph fastball) like Figaro does, you need to see him. "Both of them can give you length (in terms of innings out of the bullpen)." Roenicke figures to have a lot of innings available from his relief corps for any given game because Burke Badenhop and Tom Gorzelanny are multi-inning types as well. "We have a ton of length instead of just all one-inning guys," said Roenicke. The downside of going with 13 pitchers is that it eliminates a job on the bench, leaving only four extra players. Backup catcher Martin Maldonado, utility infielder Yuniesky Betancourt and fourth outfielder Logan Schafer will fill three spots, with the other going to outfielder Khris Davis or catcher/first baseman Blake Lalli.
Brewers likely to start season with 13 pitchers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Mar 29