Maryvale Baseball Park is in wait and see mode this morning while rain falls in Phoenix. What is it about rainy weekends this spring?
The weather forced the Brewers to move their morning stretch into the covered batting cages, and manager Ken Macha and pitching coach Rick Peterson are making contingency plans should the game be washed out. Macha met with with reporters in his office and here’s what’s happening in camp:
The most important thing, Macha said, was keeping scheduled starter Doug Davis on schedule. He is to make his Brewers debut today against the Reds, and should Mother Nature intervene Davis would instead throw a two-inning simulated game. The Brewers have covered bullpen for these contingencies.
Peterson would have to do some shuffling with the relievers scheduled to follow Davis. They are Todd Coffey, John Axford, Zach Braddock and Scott Schoeneweis.
Here’s the lineup posted this morning:
Alcides Escobar SS
Jody Gerut RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Mat Gamel 3B
Gregg Zaun C
Hernan Iribarren 2B
Doug Davis LHP
Gamel would make his first Cactus League appearance. He complained of a sore right shoulder the other day but was back at full strength on Saturday.
Outfielder Trent Oeltjen said he was relieved that the x-rays on his bruised left wrist came back negative on Saturday. Oeltjen was supposed to participate in outfield drills Sunday before the rain dashed those plans, but he won’t resume swinging the bat until Monday.
As of Sunday morning, Macha was not ready to name his starting pitcher for Monday’s game against the Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park. Right-hander Dave Bush and left-hander Manny Parra are each scheduled for two innings.
“We haven’t decided [who will go first],” Macha said. “Rick and I are going to talk about it and then we’ll tell one of them. We don’t want anybody to read anything into anything.”
Macha will not face the same conundrum next time. Bush and Parra are lined up to pitch again on Saturday, March 13, when the Brewers have split-squad games against the Rockies at Maryvale and against the White Sox in Glendale.
Is Macha trying to downplay the competition?
“Why put so much pressure on the guy like that?” Macha said. “Just go out and pitch good, that’s all.”
Macha was still singing left-hander Chris Capuano’s praises on Sunday, a day after Capuano pitched his first Major League game in nearly two years. He continues to mention Capuano as a legitimate candidate for the Opening Day roster.
Jim Edmonds made Macha chuckle the other day.
“I asked him if he had a first baseman’s mitt because it would be nice to have a backup first baseman on the roster,” Macha said. “He says, ‘When you watch me run these balls down in center field, you’re going to like what you see out there.’
“I told him I’ve already seen that. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but he came up with the Angels when I was there [as a coach]. He was a brash rookie then, and not a whole lot has changed. Just take the rookie out of there. That’s good. You want guys to have that type of feeling about themselves.”