Morning brew: Gallardo, Gamel, Webb, KhDavis
Some morning notes from Maryvale:
— Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz was in the stands for Yovani Gallardo’s inning for Team Mexico against the D-backs on Tuesday night and feels comfortable with Gallardo moving on in the World Baseball Classic. Gallardo is scheduled to pitch Friday against Team USA in front of as many as 40,000 fans at Chase Field.
Gallardo’s status for the tournament was briefly in question when he suffered a minor right groin strain last week.
“We already had a plan ahead of time,” Kranitz said. “If he cleared one hurdle, he was going to the next one. We talked to ‘Yo.’ Everybody’s talked. If there was something there, he would have felt it last night after the game, and he said everything was good.”
Kranitz will be one of those fans in the stands on Friday.
“Better get there early,” he said.
— After getting a second opinion, Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a torn right ACL for the second time in less than a year. Gamel had the same procedure last May and missed the rest of the season, re-tore the same ligament on Feb. 16 and will miss all of 2013.
Dr. Gary Waslewski, a team physician for the Arizona Cardinals football team and Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, will perform Gamel’s surgery in Scottsdale, Ariz., with Brewers head physician William Raasch assisting.
— Left-hander Travis Webb threw live batting practice to hitters for the first time on Tuesday and was to discuss with Brewers coaches on Wednesday the next step. It could be pitching in a game. Webb, a nonroster invitee who is new to the organization, has been brought along very slowly because of a muscle strain behind his left shoulder.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’m going to go out and throw and just see where I’m at. I really want to be out there. I feel like this is an important time for me. But again, I want to make sure that I’m ready to go.”
Webb said he no longer feels any discomfort in that muscle.
— I checked with Rickie Weeks, the Brewers’ best batting practice slugger, to make sure that Khris Davis’ booming home run in Tuesday’s exhibition against Team Canada was as impressive as it looked from the press box. Weeks’ eyes widened.
“You don’t see many up there,” he said.
Davis’ go-ahead blast bounced at the base of two flagpoles in left-center field and nearly cleared a brick wall that separates Maryvale Baseball Park from an adjoining strip mall. Last year, when Davis was rehabbing a calf injury in Arizona, he hit one further down the left field like that actually cleared that back wall on a fly, at least according to Tony Diggs, who helped run the Maryvale operation for the Brewers.
On Tuesday, he hit a curveball.
“I don’t know if I could hit it much farther,” Davis said.
Does he consider power a big part of his game?
“I just think it’s a secret weapon, really,” Davis said. “Me being kind of small, no one looks at me and is like, ‘He’s got power.’ I do, but it’s kind of a secret.”
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