Narveson ready for new role in 'pen
Lefty to remain in relief after Suppan named fifth starter
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson had no advance notice that he would be called upon on Opening Day. Now he'll have to get used to that feeling.
Narveson will remain in the bullpen for the foreseeable future after the Brewers on Wednesday named Jeff Suppan their fifth starter. Manager Ken Macha hinted that both Narveson and fellow starting candidate-turned-reliever Manny Parra would be safe when the Brewers make the roster move next week necessary to activate Suppan from the disabled list.
"I think that's the thing about pitching out of the bullpen -- you always have to be ready," Narveson said. "I don't think there's going to be a defined situation, so you just go out there and pitch."
Does he have to adjust his style to fit a bullpen role?
"I hope not," Macha said. "He should know what pitches work for him, what combinations work for him, how he has to pitch in order to get people out. It's not like I'm bringing him in to face one lefty; I've got somebody for that."
That would be lefty Mitch Stetter, who debuted on Tuesday and retired the Rockies' Todd Helton in a tight spot. With Narveson and Parra stretched out and available for multiple innings, Macha has more flexibility than ever to use Stetter and the rest of the late-inning relievers in shorter stints.
Hoffman's countdown to 600 continues
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman is having some second thoughts about the countdown banner that hangs above the bullpen at Miller Park.
It features a photo of Hoffman and his progress toward save No. 600, a milestone to which the all-time saves leader inched one step closer on Wednesday afternoon. When he recorded the final out, a stadium employee revealed Hoffman's new total: 593.
Hoffman signed off on the signage in Spring Training, and thinks it turned out beautifully. But he's wondering whether the Brewers' opponents might view it as a very public version of bulletin board material.
"I don't want to add any extra enthusiasm for the other side of the field," Hoffman said prior to the series finale against Colorado. "It's not a situation where anybody is trying to put it in anybody's face. But I guarantee you they're saying, 'Hey, let's not let him click over a number on us."
He's figured out a solution:
"Hopefully we'll get to  pretty quick and then they can take it down," Hoffman said.
Kottaras better than his box score
MILWAUKEE -- Try finding a better 0-for-3 debut in Brewers history than the one catcher George Kottaras put together on Wednesday.The waiver-wire pick-up didn't have a hit, but he did score one run and drive in two more in the Brewers' 5-4 win over the Rockies, capping three-game series win for Milwaukee against the defending National League West champions. Kottaras reached on an error in the second inning and scored the team's first run. He delivered an RBI groundout in the fourth, then tied the game at 4 in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly. "Sometimes it takes some of those days," Kottaras said. "You give yourself up for the betterment of the team, whether that's hitting a ground ball to move a guy over or a fly ball when you need it. Those are the things we work on in batting practice. You try to carry it into the game, but it doesn't always happen." Kottaras is the No. 2 catcher behind Gregg Zaun, but Zaun is nearing his 39th birthday, so Kottaras figures to get more regular starts than previous Brewers backups. The one-time Padres prospect made the team because of his potent bat and will have to prove to manager Ken Macha that he can catch, too. Kottaras, 26, was not happy with the four wild pitches in Wednesday's series finale. "Some of them [bother me]," Kottaras said. "I take pride in that -- not letting the ball get by. It's a pride thing. You don't just move onto the next one because it lingers a little bit. You have to stay focused on the next pitch."
Get more bang for your buck
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' ranked as the eight most affordable fan experiences in Major League Baseball in the annual Fan Cost Index from Team Marketing Report.The index is calculated by the price of two adult average-priced tickets, two child average-priced tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-sized hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two adult-size adjustable caps. The overall FCI for the Brewers in 2010 is $160.40, according to the publication. "While most families do not purchase all of these items on a trip to Miller Park, the Index is a good measurement for how we compare to the industry average," Brewers executive vice president of business operations Rick Schlesinger said in a statement. "We're proud to remain among baseball's most affordable experiences, and we encourage fans to take advantage of the many special savings that we offer on tickets, concessions and merchandise for most games at Miller Park."
Trevor Hoffman ranks 14th in Major League history with 987 appearances. Here are some of the pitchers he's approaching: 13. Goose Gossage (1,002), 12. Mike Jackson (1,005), 11. Roberto Hernandez (1,010). ... With eight strikeouts on Tuesday night, Randy Wolf tied for the third-most whiffs in a Brewers debut, according to STATS, Inc. Gary Beare also struck out eight batters on Sept. 7, 1976. Nick Neugebauer notched nine strikeouts in his debut on Aug. 19, 2001, and Steve Woodard struck out 12 in a dazzling debut against Roger Clemens and the Red Sox on July 28, 1997, at County Stadium. ... Prince Fielder has played in 188 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Majors. The Dodgers' Andre Ethier has played 117 straight games.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.