MILWAUKEE -- Since the Brewers made him their third-round Draft pick in 2010, Tyler Thornburg has been constantly compared to the Giants' Tim Lincecum.

Both are right-handed. Both are 5-foot-11. Both throw surprisingly hard for their size and feature a plus breaking ball. And both have an unconventional delivery.

Is it a legitimate comp?

"I think that's a very good comparison," said catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who caught Thornburg in Spring Training and then faced Lincecum in early May. "Is he going to do what Lincecum does? Not a lot of people do. But in terms of stuff and delivery and windup, very comparable."

Lucroy is on the disabled list with a broken hand, so he was forced to watch Thornburg's Major League debut on Tuesday from the clubhouse. The Brewers promoted Thornburg from Double-A Huntsville to start against the Blue Jays.

"I think this is going to be a good experience for him, getting thrown into the fire," said Lucroy, who jumped to the Majors three years ago. "It was for me. I learned a lot."

Manager Ron Roenicke cautioned against expecting too much, too soon, from a 23-year-old who has made all of 13 starts above the Class A level.

But he buys the Lincecum comparison.

"I see it," Roenicke said. "[Thornburg] has got a little funkiness to him, he's got an electric fastball, he's got a very good curveball, and when all those things are working, [the comparison is apt]. I'm not saying he's [Lincecum]. But he's similar in some of the things he does."

Thornburg's stay with Crew could be brief

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers pitching prospect Tyler Thornburg walked off the Miller Park mound a frustrated right-hander on Tuesday night, having lost the chance to win his Major League debut because of back-to-back-to-back Blue Jays home runs.

Now the question is, how long will Thornburg will have to wait to take a Major League mound again. It might be a while.

Even with right-hander Shaun Marcum's status uncertain as he receives treatment for a tight right elbow, an off-day on Thursday and Marco Estrada's pending return from the disabled list on June 26 could allow the Brewers to send the 23-year-old Thornburg back to the Minors for more seasoning.

If that's the case, then he will have some time to think about his debut, an outing that was outstanding for five innings and then fell apart in the sixth, when Thornburg surrendered homers to Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, all on fastballs. Just like that, a 4-2 lead had become a 5-4 deficit.

Thornburg wound up with a no-decision in the Brewers' 10-9 loss.

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"Not too bad," Thornburg said. "Seven hits and I didn't walk anyone. Just four big hits. That was the big key."

Those were home runs to Brett Lawrie in the third inning, plus the trio in the sixth.

Thornburg, who had not pitched in 10 days because of a suspension for brawling and a decision by Brewers officials to control his innings before a promotion to Triple-A, admitted he was getting tired in the sixth.

"There's still no reason I should leave balls up like that," Thornburg said. "I'll try to keep the good things in mind. That last inning, I'll wash out as much as possible."

Before he was called upon to pitch in Marcum's place, Thornburg was slated to pitch in the Double-A Southern League All-Star Game on Tuesday night and then drive to Nashville for a promotion to the Brewers' top affiliate.

Now, Thornburg said he had "no idea" what his immediate future holds. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke offered no further clues.

"[Marcum] is going to play catch here in the next few days, and we'll see where we are," Roenicke said. "We'll see how fast he comes along."

The Brewers will start Zack Greinke, Randy Wolf and Mike Fiers in their weekend series against the White Sox in Chicago, followed by Yovani Gallardo, Estrada and Greinke in Cincinnati.

The key to that plan is Estrada making it back to the Majors without a setback. He is scheduled for his second Triple-A rehab start on Thursday.

"Every time we plot something out, something happens to change it," Roenicke said.

Lucroy to have cast removed Wednesday

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy seemed ready to rip the cast off his right hand on Tuesday. By Wednesday, he'll finally be free.

Doctors will remove the cast and X-ray Lucroy's hand to determine the progress of a fractured bone below his pinkie finger. Lucroy suffered the injury on May 27 in Los Angeles and subsequently underwent surgery to speed his healing.

"It's going to be nice to get back to do some baseball stuff," Lucroy said. "I know they're going to do it slowly, progress slowly, because we don't want to re-injure it and make it worse. I'm pretty happy, I'm not going to lie to you, to get this stupid thing off."

Lucroy's first task could be catching some bullpen sessions, which he could do without using his right hand. He won't be cleared to begin hitting until the bone is completely healed.

"Then I have to get my timing back," he said. "It's not easy, so it's going to take [some time]. I don't even want to speculate."

Last call

• The Brewers designated infielder Brooks Conrad for assignment on Tuesday to clear space on the 40-man roster for Thornburg. Conrad can refuse the assignment and become a free agent.

"The biggest thing with him is, needs to get to the Major Leagues, and what is the best way for him to do it?" Roenicke said. "If someone claims him, great. We feel good for him. Brooks is the kind of guy that you hope good things happen to. He works as hard as anybody, he's a great teammate, he plays really hard out there. You want good things to happen to him."

Good things did not happen in Milwaukee. Conrad batted .405 in 21 games at Triple-A Nashville but went 3-for-40 (.075) in two stints with the Brewers, including 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-14 as a pinch-hitter.