Some notes from Ken Macha’s morning meeting with reporters:
All of a sudden the Brewers have quite a little medical report, though all of the bumps and bruises Macha ran through on Friday were considered minor. Here are some of them:
– Third baseman Mat Gamel, scratched from Thursday’s Cactus League opener because of a sore right shoulder, was to take some swings off a tee on Friday morning and was tentatively listed to travel with the split-squad headed to Tucson on Saturday to play the Rockies. But Macha cautioned that the assignment could change based on how Gamel felt later Friday.
– Josh Butler (triceps) was scheduled for a 40-pitch bullpen session and Kyle Heckathorn (rib cage) was to throw some live batting practice on Friday. The Brewers are taking a very cautious approach with both right-handed pitching prospects early in camp, and that was fine with Butler.
“I never had to stop throwing because of this; they’re just taking it easy on me,” said Butler, who knocked on wood after saying he had so far avoided major arm injuries in his career. “There is still so much time left in Spring Training. It’s frustrating not to go play in these games right now, but it will happen. There’s no reason to rush it.”
Butler will get into a Cactus League game at some point but Macha still won’t completely commit about Heckathorn, who was the Brewers’ supplemental first-round Draft pick last year.
Macha also said that organizational newcomer Marco Estrada, another right-hander, was dealing with a minor neck issue but was to play catch on Friday. If that went well, Estrada would be scheduled to pitch against the Rockies in Tucson.
Speaking of that game, Eric Arnett, the Brewers’ first selection in last year’s Draft, is also on the list for Tucson and Macha would like to see him get into the game late. If he does, the skipper will see the raw right-hander in person; Macha is going to travel with the road crew instead of staying home to see Randy Wolf lead another split-squad against the Giants.
Jim Edmonds was penciled in to start in right field on Friday against the A’s for his unofficial Brewers debut. Macha is not quite ready to commit to how much playing time Edmonds will see this spring, but expects to use him at all three outfield positions and at first base. I’ll have more on Edmonds a bit later today.
Today’s starting lineup against the A’s looks like this. Macha was at first considering a day off for Gomez, but bench coach Willie Randolph suggested they keep him in:
Other pitchers on the travel roster include Tim Dillard, LaTroy Hawkins, A.J. Murray, Mark Rogers, Mitch Stetter and Carlos Villanueva.