Gameday: March 27 at Rangers

Sorry gang, I got sucked into a story about the Brewers’ roster debate and completely forgot that there was a game tonight. Without further ado, I present the still Ryan Braun-less Brewers lineup:

Tony Gwynn Jr.  CF
Chris Duffy  LF
Casey McGehee  1B
Bill Hall  3B
Brad Nelson  RF
Mike Lamb  DH
Mike Rivera  C
Hernan Iribarren  2B
Alcides Escobar  SS

Dave Bush gets the start while Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva, David Riske and Mark DiFelice are scheduled to follow. Riskie will try again to throw his first scoreless outing this spring.

A couple of other notes from Friday’s workout back at Maryvale Baseball Park:

– Trevor Hoffman is “treading water” in his return from an oblique injury. It would take a miracle for him to avoid starting the year on the disabled list, and Macha has no idea who will close games in the interim. if Hoffman indeed opens the year on the DL it means the Opening Day bullpen is all but set, with both DiFelice and Jorge Julio making the cut. Lindsay Gulin and Wes Littleton also remain active in big league camp, but I’m guessing they will be among the next round of cuts on Monday or Tuesday.

– Braun, who underwent an MRI scan on Wednesday that revealed no structural damage in his lower back and ribcage, took batting practice on Friday and is slated to play a Triple-A game on Saturday. By holding him out of “A” games, the Brewers leave open the possibility of a backdated stint on the disabled list. In that case, Braun would only have to miss the first four games of the regular season, but no one wants to go there just yet.

– Yovani Gallardo is also slated to work in a Minor League game instead of making his start against the Giants on Sunday in Scottsdale. It will be a “bullpen game” for the Brewers and the Giants have a similar plan, a move to hide the starters in anticipation of the teams’ season-opening series in San Francisco. 

– Craig Counsell is still out with swelling in one of his knees. Macha said he doesn’t think it is serious.

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