Milwaukee Brewers, NL East News And Notes, March 30 Edition
—It’s spring training, but it’s nice to see that the Brewers are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games as we near the start of the regular season. The Journal Sentinel says not to get too excited, though. The Brewers Spring-Training records and regular-season records have not correlated with each other often over the years.
—DiFelice added a curveball to his repertoire.
—Mitch Stetter, Todd Coffey, Jorge Julio, Wes Littleton, Lindsay Gulin, and David Johnson also pitched scoreless innings Sunday.
—Gallardo was supposed to pitch in the game, but instead got his work in on a minor-league game, pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs, with three walks and five strikeouts. Macha pulled Gallardo from the major-league game after learning the Giants pulled Randy Johnson, who will face the Brewers in the second game of the regular season. Jeff Fletcher at Fanhouse calls it “hardball” on Macha’s part.
—Ryan Braun also played in that minor-league game and hit a home run. He could be playing in the major-league again soon.
—There are a lot of “finally coming around” stories about players during spring training, but the reports of the significant progress Weeks has made at the plate are very encouraging. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, batting .383 over that span. Weeks clearly has the talent to be a special player. If he can put it together this year, it would boost the Brewers chances of reaching the postseason significantly.
—I’m also encouraged by the early reports on the work Dale Sveum is doing with the hitters. I was skeptical when Macha assigned him the role of hitting coach, since he had no history at that position, but the early results and stories from camp are encouraging.
—Suppan pitched a strong game Saturday, going seven innings and allowing one run and six hits. His last two outings have been good.
—Hardy remained hot this spring, as he hit a three-run home run on Saturday.
—Riske might be starting to come around a bit. He’s thrown two consecutive scoreless innings after a brutal start to the spring.
—Hart has missed some time with “gastrointestinal issues.” It sounds like something that should pass soon.
—Bush will pitch out of the bullpen during the opener to prepare him for his ‘09 debut against the Cubs on April 11 in Miller Park.
—Adam McCalvy of Brewers.com discusses the Brewers prospects at Spring Training this Cactus League season. Escobar is the one turning the most heads. It’s nice to see that he’s willing to change positions if the Brewers would like him to, but with his incredible defensive skills at a premium defensive position, I can’t see that happening.
—David Hannes at Brewers Bar wonders if Suppan starting on Opening Day could be a dream come true for him. His point is interesting, but I think more gets made of the pitching order than should be. It really only matters for the first couple of weeks usually, and even then it’s not as important as people make it out to be.
—RFB regular Scottage Cheese of Team Wisconsin posts about a Jake-Peavy-to-the-Brewers rumor he heard on MLB Radio on XM. I’d love to have Peavy, but I can’t see a scenario where the Brewers give up Hardy for him, especially during the season.
—The Daily Hick picks the Brewers to finish fifth in the NL Central with a 72-90 record, only two games ahead of the last-place Pirates. Wow, that might be the roughest prediction for the Crew I’ve seen all offseason.
—The Junkball Blues projects Bill Hall. I hope Hall outperforms the .237/.304/.423 projection. Otherwise, we’ll likely see some changes at third during the season, whether that means more of Lamb, Counsell or McGehee, bringing up Gamel or obtaining someone from outside the organization.
—Brad at Chuckie Hacks does not like the fact that the Brewers put up a banner for winning the ‘08 NL Wild Card. I’m not quite as distraught about it as Brad, but I agree. Championship banners should be reserved for division titles, league titles, and World Series titles.
—Brew Crew Ball features Kirbir’s Pictures of the Week.
—Gregg beat out Marmol for the Cubs closer spot. And Marmol is not happy. Honestly, I was hoping Marmol would win the closer role. He’s much more valuable to the Cubs as a guy they can throw out there at any time and for multiple innings (if his arm doesn’t fall off from overuse).
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