Brewers PR man Mike Vassallo broke some more bad injury news for the Brewers Tuesday afternoon:
#Brewers Shaun Marcum will not start tomorrow vs. Toronto due to tightness in his right elbow.More information to follow after the game.
— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) June 18, 2012
Vassallo (nor anybody else) has presented news yet as of how the Brewers will go about replacing Marcum in the rotation. Without an off-day since Marcum’s last turn in the rotation, Yovani Gallardo would be on just three days rest should he be tabbed, something he has never done in his career.
That leaves the minors as the natural place to find Tuesday’s starter. Wily Peralta has struggled mightily in Triple-A, walking a batter nearly every two innings and posting a 6.34 ERA in 65.1 innings. The other options are similarly unappealing.
The Pacific Coast League is among the most difficult for pitchers in all of professional baseball, but even in that context the numbers for the Nashville Sounds rotation are awful. Mark Rogers has a 5.68 ERA and 35 walks in 58.2 innings. Seth McClung has a 4.75 ERA and 45 strikeouts against 35 walks in 66.1 innings. Those are the only two pitchers on the staff with 10 or more starts, outside of Peralta and current Brewer Michael Fiers.
Claudio Vargas has also made a few starts at Triple-A since rejoining the Brewers system, striking out 25 and walking 10 with a 4.21 ERA in 25.2 innings, and between his relative success and his experience he just might be the choice.
There are a few dark horse options at Double-A Huntsville, but it would be extremely surprising if the Brewers rushed Tyler Thornburg or Kyle Heckathorn past Triple-A straight into the Major League rotation. As such, my money would be on Vargas unless the Brewers pull something out of left field.
For now, information only suggests that Marcum will be out for one start. We’ll find out more following Monday night’s game. Judging by the options currently available, the Brewers will be stretched very thin if Marcum misses any significant amount of time, especially until Marco Estrada is able to return from his own injury.