Villanueva still a question mark for Macha
Brewers reliever Carlos Villanueva was charged with five runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings against the Giants on Tuesday, and, especially given the injury to closer Trevor Hoffman, remains one of manager Ken Macha’s chief concerns.
One of San Francisco’s two home runs off Villanueva was an inside-the-park shot aided by Minor League left fielder Brendan Katin, who failed to converge on a ball hit off the center field wall. But the other was more than legitimate, a booming, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning by Jesus Guzman that cleared the 30-foot tall batter’s eye that sits 430 feet from home plate and gave the Giants a 7-5 win.
“This guy here, Villanueva, has had one good outing all spring, as far as I’m concerned,” Macha said. “The other outings he’s pitched just a single inning and been mid- to high-20s with his pitches. … He’s throwing a lot of pitches and not being able to put the guy away. Now, when you get to pitch 25, 26, you’re going to leave something over the plate and that’s what happens.
“I’ll talk to him [Wednesday], maybe talk to Billy [Castro, the pitching coach] and see what our plan of attack is. With Hoffman down, I asked Billy, ‘Who’s your closer if he can’t go?’ He answered, [Villanueva]. I said, ‘Well, he hasn’t had any good outings this spring. Now you have to look at what your alternatives might be.”