Tonight's disaster start for Yovani Gallardo wasn't just an ugly Brewer loss: it was also a pretty devastating blow to a Brewer bullpen that's already been thoroughly overworked in April.
The Brewer bullpen pitched six innings tonight, including three innings (and 51 pitches) for Mike McClendon. With eight games left in the current road trip and no days off until Thursday, it's likely the Brewers are going to have to call up some reinforcements. Here's a quick look at some of the guys who might be available, although it'd be a challenge to get some of them to St. Louis in time for a (ridiculously early) 12:05 start.
Fiers is having a rough start to the 2012 season for Nashville (6.23 ERA over 17.1 innings), but he's the most likely candidate to come up for a handful of reasons.
- He's already on the 40 man roster, so he could simply be swapped out for Mike McClendon without anyone else having to be removed.
- He was scheduled to start Friday night for Nashville, but the game was rained out. As such, the Brewers could borrow him from Nashville without actually interrupting the Sounds' rotation in the short term.
- Nashville is in Iowa this weekend. I can tell you from experience that's roughly a six hour car trip from St. Louis, so one way or another he should be available to join the team before tomorrow.
Meadows is a left-handed reliever who didn't see much opportunity in camp this spring, but has been working longer outings for Nashville recently. He's thrown two or more innings in three of his last four appearances, and last pitched on Thursday.
Hand hasn't had as much success this season as Meadows, but he's also been working longer outings recently. He made a spot start on Saturday and pitched four innings in place of Wily Peralta. He pitched one inning in relief on Thursday.
Chulk is a 33-year-old veteran journeyman who hasn't pitched for Nashville since Saturday, when he threw three scoreless innings. He has a 7.2 inning scoreless streak going for the Sounds over his last four appearances.
Rogers is on the 40-man roster but is unlikely to get the call: He's only pitched twice in the minors since coming off his suspension from last season.
If the Brewers want someone who's stretched out but don't want to use Fiers for some reason, Heckathorn could be an option. He's Saturday's scheduled starter for Huntsville, and has a 3.47 ERA over his first four appearances in 2012. Huntsville is in Mississippi this weekend, so getting him to St. Louis overnight could be a travel challenge.
Meadows, Hand, Chulk and Heckathorn aren't currently on the 40 man roster, so the Brewers would have to open up a space to make room for them.
Here are some guys on the 40-man roster who won't be options:
- Wily Peralta just pitched on Thursday for Nashville.
- Josh Stinson just pitched 4.2 innings on Wednesday for Huntsville.
- Cody Scarpetta and Santo Manzanillo are both on the 40-man roster but unavailable, as they're on the minor league DL.
- Zach Braddock is still on Nashville's temporary inactive list and hasn't pitched in a game this season.