April 2009

Rivera gets his start

As promised, Brewers manager Ken Macha has paired starter Dave Bush and catcher Mike Rivera today in the second of two games against the Cubs. Otherwise, the lineup is the same:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall 3B
Mike Rivera  C
Dave Bush  RHP

Contract talks on back burner

If it seems like it’s been a while since talk of contract extensions for the likes of Yovani Gallardo or Corey Hart, it’s because there has been little movement on the matter.

“We’ve had conversations with both players and agents and it’s a two-way street,” principal owner Mark Attanasio said Friday before his fifth home opener in Milwaukee. “Players are tending to look at being on the upswing of their careers and we’re in a downtown of the economy. That’s their choice.

“I’m not saying we’re cutting discussions off, because I think we might have discussions with one of those players even as we speak.”

Attanasio would not identify the player. Neither would general manager Doug Melvin, who said there had “not really” been contact with Jeff Berry — the agent for Hart — or Bobby Witt — who represents Gallardo — since those players agreed to their 2009 contracts in February.

“It’s not on the agenda,” Melvin said. “If we feel there is a point we should talk again, we’ll do that. If we do something, it will probably be on the quiet side. That’s how Ryan’s [Ryan Braun's] got done.”

Shadows are tough today

I don’t know how well it comes through the television, but the shadows at Miller Park today are absolutely brutal for the hitters. Rich Harden just struck out the side, and it appears that the first-inning Brewers run could be a big one. These mid-afternoon start times are a huge advantage to the pitchers.

One of my colleagues just told me that the lighting conditions are so tough, it’s messing up the pitch f/x feature on MLB.com’s Gameday application. They’ve switched to manual input.

Brewers thinking of Giants pitcher

A number of Brewers officials expressed well-wishes Friday for Joe Martinez, San Francisco’s rookie right-hander who was struck in the head by a batted ball during Thursday’s Brewers-Giants game at AT&T Park.

Martinez suffered a concussion and a small hairline skull fracture, according to a report from the Giants’ medical staff that was forwarded to the Brewers. He is alert and comfortable at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, and will remain there for another three or four days.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was worried both for Martinez and for Milwaukee center fielder Mike Cameron, whose line drive struck Martinez.

“We hope that Joe Martinez will be OK,” Melvin said. “You don’t wish that on anybody. Your job is go to up there and hit the ball hard, but that’s not the result you want.

“Obviously, Mike was bothered by it. I hope that he’s fine because he’s been swinging the bat well. And the other part, Joe Martinez is a young pitcher that’s worked his way to the big leagues and it’s very unfortunate that he may have to spend time on the disabled list now. I just hope that he gets a chance to come back and play.”

Macha wants Hart, Hardy flip to work

Getting a late start today because of the pre-game festivities, but here’s the lineup. Both Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy are off to slow starts this season, but manager Ken Macha is sticking with his lineup flip because he wants it to work. Here’s his lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall  3B
Jason Kendall  C
Braden Looper  RHP

Home opener timeline

The Brewers sent out a schedule for tomorrow’s home opener against the Cubs so I thought I would pass it along to you:

12:00 p.m. – Parking opens to the public
1:00 p.m. – Gates to Miller Park open
1:15 p.m. – Brewers Stretch on Field
1:25 – 2:10 p.m. – Cubs Batting Practice
1:25 – 2:10 p.m. – Brewers Batting Practice (Cages)
2:45 p.m. – Pre-game Ceremonies Begin
2:47 p.m. – Cubs Starting Lineups/Chalk Line Introductions
2:52 p.m. – Brewers Starting Lineups/Chalk Line Introductions
2:57 p.m. – National Anthem (Joe Attanasio, Father of Brewers owner Mark Attanasio)
3:00 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch (Jeff Skiles, First Officer of US Airways flight 1549)
3:07 p.m. – First Pitch

Parking could be tough, so I’ll also pass along a reminder from the team that overflow parking has been arranged at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Fans may use the 84th Street exit from I-94 where they will be greeted by signage and staff. A $10 fee will cover the vehicle parking and shuttle services are free. Buses, provided by Riteway Bus, will be staged near the U.S. Cellular Gate and will offer service to and from Miller Park before and after the game.

Shuttle services are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. and will run until approximately 1 1/2 hours after the game. Buses will drop off passengers and pick up after the game on the VA grounds. Fans should follow the path marked “Stadium” which will lead them to the right field gate. Tune to AM 1180 for up to the minute information.

FOX 6 to air Brewers special tomorrow night

For those of you in the Milwaukee area: After the Brewers-Giants game on Thursday, tune to FOX 6 for their Brewers Preview show. It airs at 9:30 p.m. CT live from Bar Louie at Bayshore Mall in Glendale. Tim Van Vooren, my favorite TV personality whose initials are actually T.V., was down in Phoenix shooting interviews for the show, and it should be a good one. 

Same lineup

Ken Macha is running out the same lineup today against Randy Johnson and the Giants. I’m guessing he’ll give the Corey Hart/J.J. Hardy flip some time before making any decisions, but both players had a tough Opening Day.

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall  3B
Jason Kendall  C
Yovani Gallardo  RHP

Rosters for Huntsville, Brevard County

[Jeez, did I botch these before... Hopefully, it's cleaned up now. Thanks for the messages.]

I know some of you have been asking about it, so here are the Opening Day rosters for Double-A Huntsville and advanced Class A Brevard County.  (The Triple-A Nashville and Class A Wisconsin rosters are already available online: here and here.)

Huntsville Stars (open Thursday vs. Mobile)

Pitchers: Left-handers Casey Baron, Chris Cody, Bobby Bramhall, David Welch and Derrick Ellison and right-handers Jeremy Jeffress, Mark Holliman, Donovan Hand, Robert Hinton, Michael McClendon, Juan Sandoval and Josh Wahpepah.

Catchers: JR Hopf and Jonathan Lucroy.

Infielders: Chris Errecart, Shane Justis, Yohannis Perez, John Raburn and Vinny Rottino.

Outfielders Chuckie Caufield, Charlie Fermaint, Freddy Parejo and Adam Stern.

Disabled list: Pitchers Omar Aguilar, Alex Periard and Brae Wright, infielder Michael Garciaparra and outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

[To answer battlekow's question, I don't know exactly what the timetable is for Cain, but he did remain in extended Spring Training in Phoenix to rehab. That seems to me like a sign it could be a few weeks.]

Brevard County Manatees (open Thursday vs. Daytona)

Pitchers: Left-handers Lucas Luetge, Rafael Lluberes and Michael Ramlow and right-handers Rigoberto Almonte, Evan Anundsen, John Axford, Josh Butler, Mike Jones, Brandon Rapoza, Amaury Rivas, Mark Rogers, Roque Mercedes, Mark Willinsky and Robert Wooten.

Catchers: Anderson De La Rosa, Martin Maldonado and Brett Whiteside.

Infielders: Brent Brewer, Eric Farris, Sergio Miranda, Steffan Wilson and Zelous Wheeler.

Outfielders: Cole Gillespie, Caleb Gindl, Lee Haydel and Logan Schafer.

Disabled list: Left-hander Zach Braddock.  

Opening Day… and it looks like they'll play!

The tarp is being rolled up, players are stretching in the outfield and for now the rains that have drizzled down on San Francisco are holding off. It appears that the Brewers and Giants are going to try to start this game on time. I apologize for not writing a long string of blog posts about the weather situation and why the Giants didn’t schedule a rain day and oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-annoying… I figured I would just wait to see what the weather looked like at game time. Silly me.

As expected, here’s the Brewers lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Mike Cameron  CF
Bill Hall  3B
Jason Kendall  C
Jeff Suppan  RHP

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