It’s been a very long time since anyone has seen Chris Narveson pitch. In late April, the Brewers starter left a game with a shoulder injury. By May 1st, he had surgery on a torn rotator cuff, and his season was over.
But today, before the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers played, Narveson was on the field playing catch. That was a good sign in and of itself for the 31 year-old, but then he took to a mound in the bullpen and had his first real throwing session in nearly half a year.
According to all sources, it went very well, despite only throwing 20 pitches.
It was a small step, but an important one for Narveson. He threw only fastballs, and is scheduled to continue his rehab with the team through the remainder of the season. His next bullpen session will be on Wednesday, the final game of the 2012 regular season.
After that, he will work out at home and at the UNC-Wilmington baseball facilities where he played college ball. Then it’s off to Phoenix and the Maryvale Baseball Park to work directly under Pitching Coach Rick Kranitz. The hope will be, of course, that Narveson can return to his dependable form and become a member of the starting rotation when the team begins again in 2013.
But he’s not without competition. This year, the rookies and Marco Estrada picked up some of the slack for ailing and under-performing pitchers like Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf. It’s not a stretch to assume that all of those pitchers could find a place on 2013′s starting rotation. In essence, Chris Narveson is not just looking to get his arm back into shape – he’s auditioning for a job.
Over his career, Chris Narveson is 26-18 with a 4.67 ERA. In his past two seasons in Milwaukee prior to his injury-shortened 2012 campaign, he posted double-digits wins both times.
There is no telling how Spring Training or the off-season will shake out right now, but rumor has it that Milwaukee may be on the lookout for a new veteran pitcher to add to the rotation in free agency. It’s obvious that the odds are stacked up against Narveson as he begins his road to recovery, but for now, he’s just excited to get back into baseball.
Brewers fans everywhere should be excited about that, too.