June 2012

Brewers go for big bats on Draft Day 1

After nabbing a pair of power arms in the first round last year, the Brewers went for power bats this time.

Blessed with a pair of first-round selections for the second straight First-Year Player Draft, the Brewers picked catcher Clint Coulter at 27th overall and Georgia Southern University outfielder Victor Roache at No. 28. Both are right-handed hitters, Coulter a prep player who was linked to the Brewers for weeks before the Draft, and Roache a collegian coming off a serious injury.

The Brewers picked another big bat in the supplemental round, using the 38th overall selection on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo outfielder Mitch Haniger.

“We think there’s a shortage of is power [in the Minor Leagues], and in the Draft there’s a shortage of power, too,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “But all three players aren’t just power, softball-type players. They are all guys that can play a position.

“This goes in cycles sometimes. We had some pitching last year, and now these are [hitters] who fit some of our needs in the organization.”

The selections snapped the Brewers’ three-year streak of picking pitchers in the first round. They took Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley in 2011, Dylan Covey in ’10 (he did not sign) and Eric Arnett in ’09.

“That’s the way the board was lined up,” amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said. “We had high school, college pitchers; we had a couple of college bats. We’re just happy the bats got to us. We were a little nervous for a second.”

For much, much more on the Brewers’ picks, check out Brewers.com. You’ll find a story tying a bow on the Brewers’ trio of Day 1 picks, plus stories on why Coulter sparked memories of Brett Lawrie, and why Roache represents a calculated gamble.

And then be sure to tune into this space tomorrow as young Jeremy Warnemuende takes over. He’ll be reporting and blogging throughout Day 2 of the Draft, which begins at 11 a.m. CT and covers Rounds 2-15. Lots of good players come out of those rounds — including Tuesday’s Brewers starter, Yovani Gallardo.

Jeremy will also have stories on Draft Day 3 on Wednesday.



Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy

Braun, Ramirez out Sunday vs. Pirates

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and third baseman Aramis Ramirez — Milwaukee’s No. 3 and No. 4 hitters — both had the day off Sunday to rest minor but troublesome injuries.

It’s the first time both players have missed the same game this season. And with catcher Jonathan Lucroy already on the 15-day disabled list, the Brewers were without their top three run producers in Sunday’s rubber match against the Pirates.

Manager Ron Roenicke said it’s been a tough task to come to Miller Park and write a different lineup nearly every day because of all the injuries his team has dealt with this season.

Setting Sunday’s lineup — different for the 18th consecutive game — might have been the most difficult, though.

“It’s been a weird season so far,” Roenicke said. “But I still think with the pitching staff and whoever we put out there — just like [Sunday]. We’ve done a lineup similar to this before, and we scored 16 runs so it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen.”

Ramirez remained confident on Sunday that his mild left quadriceps strain — suffered in Saturday’s 5-1 win — won’t keep him out long, but he said he was a little sore.

“We’re waiting on the doctor,” Ramirez said. “He’s going to check me out, and we’ll see what he says.”

Roenicke said Dr. William Raasch would also look at Braun, who has been bothered by a tight right Achilles since May 1. Trying to protect his Achilles, Braun slid awkwardly into second base on Friday and also agitated his right hip.

The Brewers have Monday off, and Ramirez said he hopes to be ready by Tuesday, when the Cubs come to Miller Park. Roenicke said he will have to wait and see how both Braun and Ramirez feel Tuesday morning before making any decisions.

The Brewers played Sunday’s game without five of the top eight batters from their Opening Day lineup. Still, Roenicke said he’s confident in any of the players he puts on the field.

“All of these guys are capable of having good days,” he said. “And if they do, we’re going to score a lot of runs.”

Jeremy Warnemuende

Affable McGehee back in Milwaukee

Hey, Casey McGehee, what’s it like being back in Milwaukee?

“It’s a little weird,” said the infielder, who was traded to the Pirates in December after parts of three years with the Brewers. “It’s like seeing a girlfriend you broke up with that you don’t necessarily hate. You don’t want to spend too much time, but at the same time, it’s nice to see them.”

McGehee’s homecoming began Thursday, when the Pirates arrived in Milwaukee on their off-day. His wife, Sarah, and son Mack are on the trip, and the McGehees are hoping to reunite with some of the healthcare workers who were so kind to Mack over the years. He has cerebral palsy and is doing great, dad said.

“We got in [Thursday] on the off-day, and I kind of had to take a little step back,” Casey McGehee said. “It was pretty nice coming back and seeing faces that were pretty familiar for a few years. A lot of people stopped by and said hello.”

He is not in the Pirates’ lineup for Friday’s series opener.

Look for more from McGehee, including what he makes of Milwaukee’s early season struggles, at Brewers.com later tonight.