PHOENIX (AP) -The Milwaukee Brewers released pitcher Claudio Vargas on Tuesday, a move that puts the team closer to finalizing its starting rotation.
With Vargas' release and a recent serious elbow injury to left-hander Chris Capuano, the final three spots in the rotation likely belong to right-handers Dave Bush and Carlos Villanueva and left-hander Manny Parra - at least until Yovani Gallardo returns from the minor knee operation he had early in spring training.
Gallardo could return in mid-April.
Capuano will see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday for a second opinion on his recently diagnosed torn elbow ligament. Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on Capuano in 2002.
Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan will be the first two pitchers in the Brewers' rotation.
The right-handed Vargas went 11-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 29 games for Milwaukee last season. He was 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts this spring training.
He will receive $885,246 in termination pay rather than his $3.6 million salary.

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