Morning Brew: Lohse, Rogers, Bianchi
It was a busy morning in Brewers camp, with right-hander Kyle Lohse settling in just as his new teammates began to pack up their lockers. Some, like Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, were more than ready for the impending start of the regular season. Others, like Khris Davis, Brandon Kintzler and Mike Fiers, were sweating the team’s final roster decisions.
Here are some notes from amid the bustle:
— Kyle Lohse was immediately popular in his new clubhouse. Brewers pitchers went out to dinner Tuesday at Scottsdale’s City Hall Stakehouse, and Lohse picked up the tab.
“It’s been a crazy two, three days,” said Lohse, who signed a three-year, $33 million contract on Tuesday. “You’re talking about family stuff, too, finding a place to live. … But I got to know some of the guys last night and paid my dues for being late.”
— Lohse said his Tuesday bullpen went well, that he was eager to face Major League hitters for the first time on Thursday (against the Rockies) and that he is hoping to be in the Brewers’ five-man pitching rotation right from the start of the season. That’s a possibility, according to pitching coach Rick Kranitz.
“My plan is to be in that first time through,” Lohse said. “I know they can get by without that, but in all honesty, I’m ready. I’m going to enjoy getting out there [Thursday] and facing the big league guys rather than the college guys I had been facing.”
He got up to 95 pitches in a simulated game against Scottsdale Community College before signing with the Brewers, but will probably be more limited on Thursday against the Rockies.
“I don’t think they’re going to let me go that far because they haven’t seen me,” said Lohse, who mentioned 60 pitches as more realistic. “Until they see it, I have to gain that confidence. We’ll see how it goes.”
— Right-hander Mark Rogers said he was “on board, for sure,” with the Brewers’ decision to place him on the season-opening disabled list, giving Rogers some time to reclaim his missing velocity. The official reason was “shoulder instability, and he met with assistant GM Gord Ash and members of Milwaukee’s athletic training staff on Wednesday morning to set a very specific plan for the next two weeks.
“Like we talked about before, I’m extremely confident my velocity will be back sooner rather than later,” Rogers said. “It’s just a matter of continuing to get stronger and allowing myself the time to get there. I’m feeling better every day. I’m excited to have the opportunity to get stronger, and hopefully be back with the club when the 15 days are up. I just have to listen to my arm.”
Rogers will remain at Maryvale Baseball Park when the rest of the team departs Thursday. Once he’s ready to pitch, the Brewers can keep Rogers on a rehab assignment for up to 30 days.
“I want to get to 100 percent,” he said. “I’m not going to myself any justice, or the club any justice, if I pitch at less than 100 percent. That’s what the goal is for the next couple of weeks.”
— Infielder Donnie Murphy elected his release from a Minor League contract on Wednesday morning. He was informed the day before that he would not make the club, after the Brewers signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a one-year contract pending a physical.
— Jeff Bianchi, who is still dealing with a hip injury, will be placed on the 15-day DL today. He’s a no-go for the Opening Day roster, as expected.
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