Brewers Saturday: Tom Gorzelanny's ailing elbow may leave Brewers scrambling

BY foxsports • August 3, 2013

MILWAUKEE -- Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny's left elbow contusion didn't improve much overnight, leaving the Milwaukee Brewers scrambling to find a pitcher to make his next scheduled start Wednesday in San Francisco.

Gorzelanny left Friday's 4-1 loss to Washington after taking a Jayson Werth line drive off the left elbow in the top of the second inning. He was in a good amount of pain Friday night and he reported not much change Saturday.

"He's still pretty swollen in the elbow," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "The start on Wednesday is definitely a question mark. (Brewers general manager) Doug (Melvin) was in earlier and we were talking about different scenarios for what we can do. It's getting really complicated."

If Gorzelanny is unable to go, the Brewers will likely have to turn to the minor leagues to find Wednesday's starter. Nashville is off Wednesday, but it would have been right-hander Marco Estrada's turn to pitch.

After working 2 2/3 innings and allowing two earned runs in a rehab start Friday, Estrada has yet to be deemed ready and is stretched out to just 47 pitches. The Brewers feel he needs at least one more start in Triple-A before he can return to the big leagues.

Pitching well in Triple-A, right-hander Johnny Hellweg could be an option to come back up for his second stint in the big leagues, but he's scheduled to start Sunday for Nashville. It's unlikely the Brewers would want him going over a week without pitching.

Top prospect Jimmy Nelson is scheduled to pitch Monday and would be on a full week of rest if he pitches Wednesday. Left-hander Chris Narveson is scheduled to go Tuesday for the Sounds, but he's struggled to a 3-6 record and a 5.51 ERA in Triple-A.

The Brewers should know if Gorzelanny will require time on the disabled list by the time they need to call up a pitcher.

"We probably won't know that for the next couple of days," Roenicke said. "If in the next couple of days the doctors think that (missing) the second start is a good possibility, then we may have to do something."

Davis gets a start: With a pair of left-handed options in Caleb Gindl and Logan Schafer, Khris Davis isn't going to find himself in the starting lineup often against right-handed pitchers.

But Davis is starting Saturday, as Roenicke loaded his lineup with right-handers against Nationals right-hander Dan Haren.

Haren is a rare right-hander who has better success against left-handed hitters than he does against right-handed hitters. Right-handed hitters are batting .308 with 14 home runs against Haren this season, while left-handed hitters are hitting .268 with seven home runs.

For whatever reason, right-handed hitters have always had more success against Haren.

"He has that really good cutter that he can cut into left-handed hitters, and I think it's hard for them to connect with it and keep it fair," Roenicke said. "That may be the main reason for it."

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