Skipper wants to keep Greinke believing
Tuesday morning began with a good laugh for Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who was told about Zack Greinke’s comments from the day before.
As a refresher, here’s what Greinke said about the relationship he forged with his skipper in 2011:
“I know I was skeptical of what he would say sometimes, and if I don’t agree with something somebody is saying, I usually tell them I think they’re wrong,” Greinke said. “There was one time I really remember, and probably two times, that I disagreed with him, and then a couple of weeks later I was like, ‘You know what? I was wrong and he was right.’ Now, if he says something, I assume he’s right until it’s proven wrong.”
That made Roenicke chuckle.
“I want to keep him believing,” he said.
Roenicke is among those who believes Greinke’s brutal honesty is among his best assets. He plans to keep the lines of communications open in 2012, a big year for Greinke considering his contract expires in October.
“I’d much rather have a guy say something” than keep his criticisms to himself, Roenicke said. “I love it. I like the questioning. I like it because I know if he’s questioning it, he’s really paying attention and thinking about it. I don’t ever mind somebody questioning things.”
A couple of other notes from early Tuesday:
- Look for a feature on Brewers.com later today about Jonathan Lucroy, who took up catching as a 13-year-old mostly because he was the only kid on the team brave enough to give it a shot. Good career move.
- I spent some time this morning talking to Mat Gamel for a story that will run tomorrow. When I asked him how much weight he’s lost compared to this time last year, he thought a moment and said, “A boat.” He’s down 25-30 pounds.
- Taylor Green will see some action at first base this spring as the Brewers try to find him a position. Like Gamel, he’s a left-handed hitter, so a platoon will not work there.
- Also spoke with shortstop Cesar Izturis, who is the rare nonroster invitee all but assured an Opening Day roster spot. The other candidate for the backup shortstop job is Edwin Maysonet, who is ticketed for Triple-A. I’ll have some of Izturis’ comments on the site later today.
- Also look for an update from lefty Manny Parra, another player who has dropped some weight and is looking forward to a healthy 2012. He had surgery last fall to remove loose bodies from his elbow, but it turns out doctors did not have to remove an old screw, as they originally anticipated. That may have contributed to a quicker rehab for Parra.
- Jose Veras is gigantic.
- Roenicke said second baseman Rickie Weeks or right fielder Corey Hart will be the leadoff hitter again in 2012. He prefers center fielder Nyjer Morgan in the two-hole because it opens opportunities for bunting. Gamel will likely hit somewhere lower in the order; sixth, seventh or eighth.
- Lefty pitching prospect Jed Bradley will not throw a bullpen session today because he has a minor groin issue, Roenicke said. The Brewers don’t consider the setback serious. Remember, Bradley was delayed at the start of last year’s Arizona Fall League because of a groin tweak.
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