Brewers’ Alfredo Figaro making case for starter’s role

Alfredo Figaro is making it awfully hard on his manager.

With Marco Estrada soon to return from the disabled list and Chris Narveson and Hiram Burgos out on rehab assignments, it seemed only a matter of time before Figaro returned to the bullpen.

But Figaro isn’t going to go quietly. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits for his first major league win since Sept. 26, 2009, leading the Brewers to a 10-1 victory over Miami.

“Figgy was real good today,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “Fastball command right off (the bat). Off-speed pitches were over the plate. He started off (well) and threw great.”

Making just his seventh career start, Figaro didn’t walk a batter and needed just 88 pitches to get through seven innings, the longest outing of his career. After Ed Lucas singled in the first inning, Figaro retired 17 Marlins in a row before Lucas singled to lead off the seventh.

Signed as a minor league free agent this past winter, Figaro has been a revelation for the Brewers after spending the past two seasons in Japan. Milwaukee took a chance on a hard-thrower, and it has paid off.

“Everything was working tonight,” Figaro said. “I was trying to get guys out by throwing the ball low. I know it’s a huge ballpark. I was not afraid to throw my fastball tonight. I know a couple of their hitters jump on the fastball, I know that. I just tried to keep my team in the game.

“Today all my pitches were good. I had my slider, curveball and changeup working today. That helped me out a lot because I know those guys are fastball hitters. I wanted to work in my breaking balls and that worked.”

While Roenicke and the Brewers have yet to decide what to do with the rotation when all their arms are healthy, Figaro has at least put himself in the conversation to continue to take the ball every five days.

“We’ll see what happens,” Roenicke said. “Until Marco is back, we’ll see what’s happening with Narveson after his next start. He certainly made a case to continue on with this. We’ll see how it slots in with the off days and what we do, but he was really good.”

One thing is for sure, Figaro has a supporter in Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez.

“Figaro has good stuff,” Gomez said. “He moved from the bullpen to starting and he should be in the rotation for the rest of the season, because he has good stuff.”

Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter