When it comes to Brewers starting pitching for 2013, there is very little to discuss and debate. Other than Yovani Gallardo and maybe Marco Estrada, it's not even clear who will make up the staff let alone how they will do. If projecting the success or failure of Brewer's starting pitching were an Olympic sport, my grandma would have as good a chance as Dan Szymborski to take home the gold.
It's not like the Brewers are desperate. This is a team that barely missed the wild card last year. This is not a rebuilding year and yet Gallardo will pitch opening day and then probably Estrada, and then maybe Michael Fiers? and that slider of Willy Peralta last year looked nasty at times and we can't forget the snafu artist-Chris Narveson and then the veteran prospect Mark Rogers? Tyler Thornburg?
Maybe 2013 is simply the Brewers playing on the cheap. Hopefully it also signifies a rejuvenated faith in its own pitching prospects.
There have been other seasons when three, even four or five starters who were drafted by the Brewers contributed to a staff. The most memorable was maybe 1987 when Higuera, Bill Wegman, Juan Nieves, and Chris Bosio all logged over 150 innings. There must have been a few head scratching days because other than Higuera, that staff was mediocre at best and only Bosio was a rookie.
There may very well be plenty of head scratching days in 2013 as well, but all of the potential rookie starters including Tyler Thornburg have nothing more to prove at AAA. And so the Brewers are trusting their own drafted and developed pitchers maybe more than ever and that's a good thing.
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. If the Brewers dip 10 games below .500, no one will be surprised. But if the Brewers win 85-88 games and three rookie starters each toss 150 productive innings, the entire organization will benefit.
I envision, probably a bit unrealistically, a scenario similar to the San Francisco Giants where drafting and developing potentially excellent MLB pitchers happens more often than it does for most teams. Part of this process is providing these pitchers a legitimate chance. Kudos to the Brewers for recognizing the moment and going for it.