When the Milwaukee Brewers first reported to Spring Training the starting rotation looked to be in fine shape. Many people considered it to be one of the teams strengths. The staff was going to be led by ace Ben Sheets and followed by steady veteran Jeff Suppan, and young phenom Yovanni Gallardo. Those 3 spots were set in stone, the last 2 spots were an open competition between former 18 game winner Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, Manny Parra, and Carlos Villenueava. That was how things looked as camp began.
News broke early in camp that Gallardo would need artroscopic knee surgury and would likely miss the first two week of the regular season. Most thought, Ok no big deal. That put things at 5 pitchers for 3 spots. Late it camp Vargas was released, in what seemed to be a salary move saving roughly 3.2 million dollars. Chris Capuano then goes down with a elbow injury eventually leading to Tommy John surgery. So by process of elimination that has the opening day rotation as Sheets, Suppan, Bush, Villenueava, and Parra.
Gallardo comes back as expected in mid April and is very effective, he lasts 2 1/2 starts before tearing his ACL on May 1st in a nasty fall trying to avoid a collision at first base. At this this point Dave Bush is recalled from AAA, as he was sent down when Gallardo was activated. Losing Gallardo to a season ending injury was devastating to the staff as he was counted on by many to be a co-ace along with Sheets.
Now fast forward to May 21st. Bush has struggled most of the season, Parra has had his ups and downs, and Villenueava has shown he can't make it into the fifth inning in most starts. Villenueava's ineffectiveness has forced management to remove him from the rotation. In my opinion the Brewers had 2 options left to replace Villeneuava, Seth McClung or Jeff Weaver who the Brewers signed to a minor league deal in late April. My vote would have been for Weaver taking over the spot but the Brewers choose McClung. Now this is the same Seth McClung that has been terrible in every role starting, middle relief, and closing for the Tampa Bay Rays. To his credit McClung has been decent with Milwaukee, but has poor command usually allowing a lot of base runners and high pitch counts due to walks. Weaver has been far from lights out at AAA either, but I believe you go with the guy that has had some kind of success as a major league starter.
McClung makes his first Brewers start on Sat. May 24 vs Washington. I hope he does well, I just really don't think he will. This is just a how far the rotation has sunk when the top 2 options to replace a struggling starter are Seth McClung and Jeff Weaver. I am just hoping the Brewers can hang around until the All-Star break when some team become seller and they can grab a decent starter.