Fans planning a trip to Phoenix for Spring Training games in March will want to note a trio of changes to the Brewers’ schedule:
- The Brewers added a split-squad game to their schedule on Sunday, March 6, and will play both at Texas in Surprise and at Oakland in Phoenix at 1:05 p.m. local time that day.
- In place of the road game originally scheduled at Oakland on March 28, the Brewers will add a home game vs. San Diego at 1:05 p.m.
- The team’s final game in Arizona on March 29 was moved to a 12:05 p.m. local start.
The Brewers will now play 32 exhibition games this season, including 17 games at Maryvale Baseball Park.
The Brewers have a deal in place for catcher Wil Nieves but it won’t be finalized until Friday, when he is scheduled to undergo a morning physical exam in Milwaukee. If he passes, Nieves will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed contract and will compete with George Kottaras and perhaps Martin Maldonado to back-up regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
“It was something that I knew was going to happen,” Lawrie told reporters on Tuesday, a day after Milwaukee ad Toronto finalized their trade. “The Brewers obviously needed pitching, and knowing that I’m one of the top prospects, getting traded was obviously in the cards. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t know when.”Lawrie is one of the top-ranked offensive prospects in the game. He entered the 2010 campaign listed at No.26 on MLB.com’s Top 50 prospects and likely will improve on that standing prior to the start of next season.The trade is a homecoming of sorts for the native of Langley, British Columbia, who was a member of Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.“It’s something special,” Lawrie said of joining the only team that plays north of the border. “The opportunity for me to get to play Major League Baseball in any city is an honor, but this is a bonus because of the fact that it’s in Canada.“I’m happy that I’m coming home, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, and now my path is to play Major League baseball and do it sooner than later.”
All of the talk surrounding the former star of the Canadian Junior program hasn’t been positive. There have been whispers around baseball that Milwaukee had issues with his attitude, which, according to some, borders on cockiness.The Blue Jays have never shied away from players who sometimes fall into that category, though. Jose Bautista had been similarly stereotyped earlier in his career and nobody has questioned catching prospect J.P. Arencibia’s belief in his own abilities.What is considered cocky to one person can be taken by another as having the confidence required to succeed at the highest level.“I had somebody who has been around the game for 30 years tell me he has never seen somebody play harder and you’ll never have an issue with him between the lines,” Anthopoulos said.“Is he intense? Is he competitive? Yes. He’s somebody that plays the game to win. You’re not going to get 25 players that are cut from the same cloth. But I know one thing — his work ethic and the way he plays the game won’t be matched.”