MILWAUKEE -- Baseball can be cruel sometimes. Just ask Junior Guerra, who spent years pitching all over the world before finding his way to the mound at Miller Park for a start on Opening Day, only to see it cut short after three innings.
Guerra suffered a right calf strain laying down a sacrifice bunt in the Brewers' 7-5 loss to the Rockies on Monday and will be placed on the 10-day disabled list, according to manager Craig Counsell. He conceded that Guerra stands to miss more time than that.
"It's a big blow, for sure," Counsell said. "It kind of starts the process of what we've preached in Spring Training. It's not going to be 25 guys, it's not going to be five starters, it's not going to be eight relievers. It's going to take more than that and we're going to start seeing that [Tuesday]."
Left-hander Tommy Milone, who pitched two innings in emergency relief of Guerra on Monday, is one option to slide into the starting rotation on Saturday against the Cubs. Counsell said club officials would discuss their options before making a decision.
With Orlando Arcia at first base and no outs in the third, Guerra successfully bunted a Jon Gray pitch and began to hobble after leaving the batter's box. He limped off the field, and was on crutches after the game.
"I went to take the second step, it felt like someone hit me right in the calf," Guerra said. "That's why I turned around and looked at the catcher, because I thought maybe he hit me."
Of the disappointment in being sidelined so early in the season, Guerra said, "It's something you can't really control. You don't really expect this to happen. I'm a little disappointed, but now I've got to try to make the best of it, try to look forward to getting ready."
On the mound, Guerra was charged with two runs on only one hit -- a Mark Reynolds two-run homer in the second inning. Guerra hit a batter to open that inning, but walked none and struck out four.
"He's a good pitcher," Reynolds said. "Unfortunately, he got hurt."
Guerra was bidding to build on a rookie season in which he went 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 big league starts and was voted the Brewers Pitcher of the Year.
"Hopefully it will be a quick recovery," said Brewers first baseman Eric Thames. "He's our Opening Day guy, he's our ace. It's a big blow to us, but we have guys who can fill that spot."
If the Brewers move Milone to the rotation and summon a reliever on Tuesday, their options include the two final cuts of Spring Training: Tyler Cravy and Rob Scahill. Both were stung by demotions on Saturday evening -- particularly Cravy, who talked about quitting baseball rather than reporting to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but later walked those comments back.
Cravy is on the 40-man roster, which is full. Scahill is not.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.