Options to Replace Davis in the Short Term

The Fanshot below breaks the news that Doug Davis was in the emergency room last night with a treatable virus, but will be out for a while depending on whether the Brewers backdate the DL stint to Davis's last start and how they juggle the rotation. Either way, they will need to get two or three starts out of another pitcher while Davis recovers.

The first option is Manny Parra. He is also the best option. 20 innings out of the bullpen should not do a whole lot to change the team's evaluation of Parra, but it is hard not to notice when he puts up nearly 9 strikeouts and a shade under 2 walks per 9. He's also getting near 60% groundballs, which is fantastic. His fastball velocity is up, and he's throwing fewer changes and more curveballs-- something that he has also done during other successful periods in his past. His tERA, FIP, and actual ERA are all lower than 4.09, and ZiPS projects him to have a 4.30 FIP the rest of the way as a starter. 

Jeff Suppan is also an option. I think it's been pretty clearly established why this is not a good idea. There's no reason to expect lower than a 5.5 ERA level of production out of him. And if the front office pulls out the "he's stretched out to start" excuse to justify giving Suppan another shot, I'm going to call shenanigans-- they just allowed Narveson to thow 130 pitches in a game in his fourth start of the year after pitching out of the pen for a few weeks.

Marco Estrada, Kameron Loe, and Chuck Lofgren are also candidates to get called up from AAA to fill in as a starter in the short term. Adam Stern was called up today to fill Davis's roster spot, and could stay until the day another starter is needed (tomorrow or Tuesday, if the Brewers bump Gallardo up a day and have him throw on normal rest). Any are worthy of a start and are probably about equal to Suppan in terms of expected production.

It's difficult for me to avoid turning this into another post that ends up advocating giving Parra another shot, but I think it's pretty clear what the best move for the Brewers is in this situation. We'll have to wait for an official announcement, and in the meantime, let's go get Hamels tonight.

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