In bench coach Jerry Narron’s fancy script, the lineups for the Brewers’ split-squad Cactus League openers were posted on a clubhouse bulletin board Sunday morning. Here’s a look:
The Brewers will see a lot of their franchise player this spring.
Hall of Famer Robin Yount lives in the Phoenix area and always drops by camp for a day or two of Spring Training, but this year he’s expected to be a regular part of the staff right up to the start of the season. General manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke extended the invitation after Roenicke chatted with Yount at an offseason event in Los Angeles.
“It’s huge, Roenicke said. “It isn’t necessarily that he’s a Hall of Famer, it’s the quality of the person. Today’s players, they’re not in awe of guys that are in the Hall of Fame. It’s certainly important of them for the credibility, obviously, but they’re looking at the guy. Is this a guy that’s helping them?”
Yount, Roenicke says, is a guy who can help them. Yount played shortstop and center field, so he knows defense. He topped 3,000 hits, so he knows offense. And he was a bench coach in Arizona and Milwaukee, so he knows teaching.
“He wants to help these guys out, and he’s got all of these other credentials,” Roenicke said. “So it’s huge having him here in this camp.”
Other former Brewers like Gorman Thomas and Jim Gantner are also expected to make their annual visits, Roenicke said.
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Catcher Jonathan Lucroy returned to Brewers camp on Friday with his fractured right pinkie finger heavily wrapped and his patience about to be tested.
Lucroy underwent surgery Thursday to insert a pin into his fractured finger. He’s expected to need four weeks to fully recover, and until a follow-up doctor’s appointment next week, he will only observe the Brewers’ workouts.
“They don’t want this to get infected,” he said, holding up a finger that was splinted and wrapped. “So no catching, not for a while. …
“It’s very awkward. I’m going to be very uncomfortable. I feel like a coach or something, or a batboy. But it’s part of it. I can’t do anything to re-injure it or hurt myself even worse, so I’m not going to take any chances. I’m a very impetuous person, very impatient, so I want to get after it, but that wouldn’t be the smart thing to do.”
Lucroy was hurt during a drill on Wednesday in which the catchers worked on taking throws from the outfield. The baseball took a bad hop and fractured the first knuckle of Lucroy’s finger, near the fingertip.
Dr. Don Sheridan, the same hand specialist who has worked on Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, inserted an inch-long pin to hold the bones in place to heal. At some point, that pin will be removed.
By Friday, Lucroy had accepted his situation. He was not so calm on Wednesday afternoon.
“I was pretty upset about it,” he said. “But after I started thinking about it, I realized that if it was going to happen, it’s better to happen now and get it over with. It’s the first major injury I’ve had, so it’s something I have to deal with personally.
“It’s a setback, yeah. But I don’t think it’s anything we can’t overcome.”
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Here’s a morning brew of notes from our session with manager Ron Roenicke:
With No. 1 catcher Jonathan Lucroy expected to spend the next month recovering from surgery for a fractured pinkie, there exists the real possibility that either George Kottaras or Wil Nieves, or perhaps Mike Rivera, will make his first-ever Opening Day start. None of those players were celebrating that possibility on Thursday morning.
The Brewers just announced that catcher Jonathan Lucroy would need surgery tomorrow to install a pin into his fractured right pinkie finger and would be sidelined about four weeks.