Notes: Brewers to open with 12 pitchers
LHP Phelps survives final cut; Durrington sent to Triple-A;
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers made a last-minute decision to carry 12 pitchers into Opening Day instead of 11, meaning utility man Trent Durrington will start the season at Triple-A Nashville.As expected, the Brewers reassigned veteran pitcher Rick Helling and catcher Pat Borders to minor league camp. The final roster spot was essentially up for grabs between Durrington, a utility infielder with speed, and Tommy Phelps, a left-handed relief pitcher. "With all of the left-handed hitters with Pittsburgh and Chicago, we thought we would take the extra left-handed pitcher to go with [Jorge] De La Rosa," manager Ned Yost said. The Brewers open their 36th season with a pair of games in Pittsburgh beginning Monday, then travel to Chicago for three more games next weekend. Had the team opted to stick with 11 pitchers, an idea that was batted around during the final days of camp in Arizona, a 12th pitcher likely would have been added a week or two into the season. Still, Durrington was disappointed. "If they want me I'll be ready," said Durrington, who batted .290 in Spring Training games. "It's just one of those things. It's just disappointing. Any time you get sent down it stinks. I'm going to go down and wait for an opportunity." The Brewers' 25-man roster includes 12 pitchers, two catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders. Three non-roster invitees made the cut: Phelps, infielder Jeff Cirillo and outfielder Chris Magruder. Unfinished business: The Brewers will wait until Sunday to line up their starting pitchers behind No. 1 Ben Sheets and No. 2 Doug Davis. That means right-hander Victor Santos, the presumptive No. 3 going into what was at times a rough Spring Training, could slip on the depth chart. Santos improved his stock on Saturday when he allowed just one run in six solid innings of an exhibition win over the White Sox, and Yost confirmed Saturday that his rotation would consist of Sheets and Davis followed by some order of Santos, Chris Capuano and Gary Glover. Capuano breezed to a 1.08 ERA in a team-best 25 innings during the spring and has a good shot of moving up to No. 3. The decision is about more than semantics; the Brewers' starter for the Cubs' home opener on Friday, April 8 is still undetermined, and whoever wins the No. 3 starter's spot will get five starts in April. The No. 4 starter, meanwhile, will get only four April starts and the No. 5 man will start three games all month because of off-days. If Capuano does indeed jump up to the third spot behind Davis, the Brewers would have their two lefties back-to-back in the rotation. Yost does not see that as a problem. "I just think that they're totally different pitchers," Yost said. "Cappy focuses down and away [and throws a] fastball, changeup and a back-door slider occasionally to bust a guy in. Doug works in with the cutter and with the high fastball." Capuano pitched seven shutout innings in his final Cactus League start, and has been healthy this spring. As a rookie last season, he was limited to 17 starts by quadriceps, triceps and elbow injuries.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.