You can add Takashi Saito to the list of Brewers being very cautious with minor medical matters. Saito was supposed to make his unofficial Brewers debut on Wednesday against the Cubs, but he requested the outing be pushed to Saturday against the Angels.
On Wednesday, the 41-year-old Saito will throw a bullpen session instead.
“Right now, I’m kind of tight in my hamstring and my hip,” Saito said through translator Kosuke Inaji. “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but last year when I hurt my shoulder, I feel that the reason was i hurt my hamstring and tried to throw harder with my shoulder.
“It’s still early in Spring Training, so I want to be careful right now.”
The schedule shift means Saito is on pace for nine innings of Cactus League work this spring instead of 10. He said as long as he gets into eight games, he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Right-hander LaTroy Hawkins is scheduled for a bullpen on Wednesday, his first mound work since undergoing right shoulder surgery last season. Hawkins would have to throw a series of bullpens, then live batting practice before appearing in a Spring Training game.
If he continues to progress on schedule, Hawkins could pitch in a game by the middle of the month. He’s aiming to be ready for the Brewers’ March 31 season-opener.
Zack Greinke makes his Brewers debut against the White Sox today in Glendale, Ariz., one of my favorite spring venues, maybe because I got to attend a game here last spring as a fan. We prodded him again today, but manager Ron Roenicke still was not ready to reveal his plans for the starting rotation.
Asked when he would be ready to make public his intentions, Roenicke said, “I imagine it will come pretty soon.”
As I wrote yesterday, it sounds as if he will use left-hander Randy Wolf in Game 3 of the season to separate him from the other lefty, Chris Narveson, who will be fifth out of the chute. That leaves Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum to fill Games 1, 2 and 4. The fourth game is a big one because it’s the Brewers home opener, and Roenicke made clear he views that as a prestigious assignment.
Might he have to sell it as such?
“I may,” he said.
Roenicke has had conversations with two of the pitchers about his thinking, and has said before that their desires could play a role in how they line up.
“I want to hear how they respond,” Roenicke, who declined to reveal details of those talks. He conceded that someone is bound to be disappointed, considering Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum all started on Opening Day last season.
“But that’s good,” Roenicke said. “If guys are upset about not pitching that opener, that’s good. Any time you have guys that want the ball all the time, that’s great to have.”