I think we could all use a break from the Braun/Melvin drama, right? So let's talk about something else for a bit between now and tonight's game.
While Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder fly to St. Louis to be a part of next week's All Star festivities, the Brewer pitching staff, having had none of its members selected for the game, will get some much-needed rest and an opportunity to recuperate for the second half. But how should they use it?
We know this with some level of certainty: Unless the Brewers acquire a pitcher in the next few days, the rotation between now and the All Star Break looks something like this:
Tonight: Yovani Gallardo
Tomorrow: Jeff Suppan
Thursday: Braden Looper
Friday: Mike Burns (assuming he gets another shot)
Saturday: Option #5 (Could be Manny Parra or a spot starter, or Seth McClung) (see UPDATE)
UPDATE: As noted in the comments, Manny Parra appears to be getting the call.
Now, we can assume Doug Melvin is glued to the phone looking for opportunities to upgrade the staff and make this entire discussion moot. But, assuming he doesn't get a pitcher between now and the Thursday, July 16th second half opener in Cincinnati, the Brewers will need to fill out a post All Star Break rotation with the arms they have. There are two ways they could do that. Here's the first one:
Thursday, July 16: Suppan (seven days rest) or Looper (six days rest)
Friday, July 17: Gallardo (normal rest)
Saturday, July 18: Suppan (nine days rest) or Looper (eight days rest)
Sunday, July 19: Parra, or whoever #5 turns out to be (five days rest)
And, if Dave Bush doesn't have any setbacks in rehab, he projects to be ready to return on the 20th. The nice thing about this setup is it maximizes the team's opportunity to use Yovani Gallardo. While everyone else would get extra rest, Gallardo would continue pitching every fifth day, and would actually pitch two of the Brewers' three games at one point.
With that said, the Brewers are riding Gallardo awfully hard this season. As things stand right now, he's on pace to pitch about 210 innings in 2009, and at 107.8 pitches per start, he's throwing more pitches than all but three pitchers in all of baseball. With the All Star Break, the Brewers have the opportunity to get him and everyone else some extra rest. Here's one rotation alignment that would do it:
Thursday, July 16: Suppan (seven days rest)
Friday, July 17: Looper (seven days rest)
Saturday, July 18: Parra (six days rest)
Sunday, July 19: Gallardo (six days rest)
Monday, July 20: Bush (if healthy) or Burns
If Bush won't be ready to go until the 20th, Gallardo would have to pitch in one of the games before that, or Mike Burns would have to make one more fill in start. If Bush has a setback, Burns could take Parra's start on the 18th on seven days rest and push everyone else back one more day.
So what do you think?