Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Brewers P Chris Narveson: Out for the Year (Rotator Cuff)

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After his last unsuccessful start, Milwaukee Brewers left-handed pitcher Chris Narveson knew something was wrong.  Medical tests by Brewers team doctor William Raasch confirmed that Narveson had a partially torn rotator cuff;  Raasch told Narveson the best option was arthroscopic surgery, but Narveson hoped a second opinion would tell him that he wouldn’t have to have season-ending surgery.

Unfortunately, the second opinion by specialist doctor Lewis Yocum merely confirmed the first assessment, which is why Narveson is now on the 60-day disabled list and is out for the year.  Here’s a link to the story at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/148756125.html

And a relevant quote:

“Yocum said we could try to rehab it but there’s no guarantee that it wouldn’t tear more,” said Narveson. “He was confident that by having the surgery I can be ready for next year.”

Narveson’s season ends with a 1-1 record, a 7.00 earned run average (ERA), 5 strikeouts, 4 walks, and 9 innings pitched.

Now, as for my analysis?  I think Narveson is a good pitcher with a gritty attitude; in some ways, he reminds me of former Brewers pitcher Chris Capuano, especially in how he approaches the game.  Because Narveson’s such a steady player, it’s possible that his loss may be underrated by professional scribes — in fact, I’ve already heard on Milwaukee radio that this could be something akin to a “blessing in disguise” because free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt is available — and Oswalt was always a huge Brewers-killer.

Look.  When someone who is a reliable and steady player like Narveson ends up going on the season-ending DL after three weeks of play, that’s not a blessing.    Instead, it’s a problem — one that Narveson himself hopes to minimize by staying around the team (as his plans, right now, are to rehab his injury in Milwaukee).

Whether the Brewers are able to tempt Oswalt or not, the fact is that we now have four reliable starters — that is, if Randy Wolf can get back on his game tonight, as so far he has yet to throw well — not five.  We do have several guys on the roster who have the skill to be starters, with the two I thought of right away being Marco Estrada and Manny Parra.  Both are strikeout pitchers when they’re on.  And Parra, being a lefty like Narveson, has added value.

For the moment, the fifth starter’s job is Estrada’s to lose.  But it’s anyone’s guess if the Brewers will leave Estrada in that position long-term, especially considering the fact that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke seems to like Estrada in the role of spot-starter and long reliever.

No matter what the Brewers do, though, the fact remains that Narveson is out for the season.  Now, it’s up to the 2012 Brewers as a team to figure out how they’re going to respond to the loss of Narveson’s steady on-the-field presence.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

One Response

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