The Brewers considered starting long reliever Sergio Mitre against Atlanta on Wednesday and filling in with the bullpen behind him. But manager Ron Roenicke was worried about the toll that might have taken on the relief corps in ensuing games, so right-hander Marco Estrada was summoned from Class AAA Nashville to make the start.
"We talked about (starting Mitre), and that may happen one of these next starts that we need that fifth starter again," Roenicke said. "If we do that, I'm really concerned about those next few days after that.
"Those guys in the bullpen ... (Takashi) Saito we're going to be careful with. (Kameron) Loe, he's pitching great, and I want to use him in games where we're tied or we have the lead.
"Then, with (Mitch) Stetter kind of being the specialist for lefties and (Sean) Green kind of being a specialist for righties, you start to limit the innings that you have to cover.
"Mitre, if he goes four for you, that's five other innings we've got to cover. Now, the next night, we don't have our starter go deep, we're scrambling."
The Brewers won't need a fifth starter again until April 16 in Washington, so Estrada could stay in the majors with the possibility of remaining as the No. 5 starter or moving to the bullpen. Estrada can't be sent back to the minors and recalled for that game in Washington because players must stay down 10 full days barring an injury to another player.
Estrada struggled at times but managed to get through six innings with a 5-4 lead, which proved to be the final score against the Braves. Estrada was rewarded with his first big-league victory in his 23rd appearance, and his third start.
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