ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ken Macha was not quite ready to say Saturday when pitcher Doug Davis will make his next start. But he is close.
Macha confirmed what was highly suspected, either Chris Narveson or Manny Parra will be moved from the rotation to bullpen duty upon Davis' return from chest discomfort. Dave Bush will start Monday against the Giants and Randy Wolf will take the hill Tuesday, but Wednesday's starter is still up in the air.
Narveson failed to impress Friday night, going five innings and allowing four runs in the 5-0 loss to the Cardinals. He was at his best in his previous start, however, blanking the Mariners over eight innings. Over his previous five starts, Narveson has gone 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA.
Parra had one last chance to impress Saturday against the Cardinals. He went five innings and gave up four runs in his last start and is 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA over his last five games.
"I would like to throw it out there that making the club happy and pitching well will get you in a spot where you should be," Macha said.
Macha also said that previous performance coming out of the bullpen would not affect his decision.
In 27 games as a reliever, Parra has posted a 4.10 ERA with a 1.428 WHIP. Narveson has made 30 appearances as a reliever with a 4.95 ERA and 1.603 WHIP.
"[I'm] not so worried about the bullpen numbers," Macha said.
"You need your five best starters out there."
Escobar's defense valued by Brewers
ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ken Macha gave a vote of confidence in shortstop Alcides Escobar on Saturday when asked about how he weighs a player's defensive impact versus his offensive contribution.
Escobar has struggled at the plate for most of the season, hitting .246 with a .298 on-base percentage and .335 slugging percentage. The shortstop has a 73 OPS+, ranking him in the bottom 10 of players qualified in the National League.
But Escobar is viewed as one of the top defensive shortstops in the game, possessing a strong arm and speed combination few can match.
"I think a lot of teams have looked at the defensive zone ratings and how players impact the game with their defense a lot more then maybe they have in the recent past," Macha said, "because there was such an emphasis on on-base percentage and the impact an offensive player could have. It is maybe shifting around a little bit.
"What you should do is look at the overall impact a guy has on the game."
According to Macha, strong offensive contributions at other positions affords him the luxury of starting Escobar every day.
The Brewers rank second in the National League in runs scored.
"Ideally you would like to have your corners, first, third, left and right be very offensive players ... so that opens up the possibility of having a defensive player," Macha said.
Recovery slow going for Gerut
ST. LOUIS -- No timeframe has been set for Jody Gerut's return from a heel injury, but the outfielder did not sound confident that it would be any time soon.
Last playing May 22, Gerut has been on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left heel. He has been taking batting practice for the last week but has not been able to run with comfort.
"It is getting better on its own time," Gerut said. "Whatever time frames we had, clearly they were too aggressive. It gets better when it gets better."
Gerut ruled out the possibility of coming off the DL as a pinch-hitting option for manager Ken Macha.
"I would like to be able to run, being a defensive replacement in center will be my toughest job, and I would say that I need to be able to do that," Gerut said.
ST. LOUIS -- Singling in the fourth inning Saturday night, Corey Hart extended his Major League-leading hitting streak to 18 games. He is batting .366 over the streak. ... LaTroy Hawkins threw again Saturday and Brewers manager Ken Macha said he is "coming along nicely." ... With his 1,011th career appearance last night, Trevor Hoffman moved into sole possession of 11th all time in Major League history.
Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.