"For me he is," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told the newspaper Sunday. "We'll see when the other guys come off the DL. I like him there. If he doesn't take a ball off the arm (Saturday night) he would have gone even deeper."
Hand, a former Jacksonville State standout, will have another chance to start when the Brewers play the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
The right-hander turned in to a solid five-inning effort Saturday night, giving up solo home runs to Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hand was struck by a line drive off the wrist in the fifth inning but didn't come out until the inning was complete.
Roenicke said Hand would have pitched the sixth inning otherwise. The manager added he was told by a trainer that Hand is fine and will make his next start as scheduled.
Hand (0-1) gave up five hits while striking out two and walking none. That came after he blanked Atlanta for 4 2/3 innings in his first major-league start June 21.
"Other than the home runs, I felt good about the way I pitched," Hand told reporters after the game. "I kept us in the ballgame for five and gave us a chance to win and we got beat 2-1. You tip your hat to them — they've got a good bullpen and (Francisco) Liriano threw the ball well. I tried to counter. Two pitches. If I had 'em back, maybe it's a different story."
Liriano pitched six strong innings to help the surging Pirates win their eighth straight.
Alvarez hit his 20th home run with one out in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and help the Pirates to their longest winning streak since 2004. Pittsburgh, which has endured 20 consecutive losing seasons, is a major league-best 50-30.
Jones hit a drive to the shrubbery in straightaway center field, his seventh homer, to lead off the fourth inning and increase the Pirates' lead to 2-0.
"I thought Donny threw the ball really well," Roenicke said. "He understands how to pitch, he understands how to throw strikes. And then the bullpen continues to pitch well."
Brandon Kintzler, John Axford and Jim Henderson each pitched one scoreless inning of relief but it wasn't enough as Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI single in the sixth was the only offense the Brewers could muster.
"We've got to get big hits," Roenicke said.
The last-place Brewers dropped to 17½ games behind the Pirates in the NL Central. Pittsburgh has won four straight games against Milwaukee and eight of 10 after losing nine in a row.
"There's another end to this tunnel," Hand said. "We've just got to find our way there and get a couple guys healthy."