Fun and fur in Brewers camp

L-R Wooten, Hand, Bucci and Byrd. (from John Axford's Instagram)

L-R Wooten, Hand, Bucci and Byrd. (from John Axford’s Instagram)

Logan Schafer and Donnie Murphy homered off Yovani Gallardo in an intrasquad game Friday, and yet the stars were the batboys. Dressed in costume for a morning presentation by the members of Team Canada, pitching prospects Donovan Hand (Canadian Mountie), Darren Byrd (polar bear), Nick Bucci (beaver) and Rob Wooten (Inuit woman) were ordered to remain in costume for the team’s first action on the main field at Maryvale Baseball Park. Never mind that Bucci was the only Canadian in the group.

They made quite a scene, and closer John Axford hinted that more may be to come.

“It will all become clear later,” Axford said with a smile.

You figure the mood will be slightly more serious on Saturday, when the A’s come to Maryvale for the teams’ Cactus League opener. Mike Fiers will start for the Brewers with Axford, Jim Henderson and Hand slated for relief and Michael Olmsted, Jesus Sanchez and Santo Manzanillo ready to pitch if needed.

Taylor Green will get the first crack at manning first base, and manager Ron Roenicke said the rest of the Brewers regulars will be on the field for the traditional opener between the two teams that train within Phoenix city limits.

“They all want to play,” Roenicke said.

That includes left fielder Ryan Braun, who is getting ready to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Braun and Roenicke have discussed a plan to get Braun close to nine-inning-ready before departing early next month.

“They’ve got two days of practice and two exhibition games, so we just need to get him some at-bats,” Roenicke said. “He’s not too concerned about the at-bats. He’s one of those rare guys that doesn’t need a lot.”

Jesse Chavez is the scheduled starter for Oakland.


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