Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Dickerson: 'Everybody wants to be a Yankee'

Chris Dickerson was feeling bittersweet Friday, when he packed a small box of belongings and hugged his now-former Brewers teammates including longtime friend Ryan Braun. The Brewers traded Dickerson to the Yankees for pitcher Sergio Mitre, and Dickerson figures to play while outfielder Curtis Granderson recovers from an oblique strain. 
“Nobody saw this coming,” Dickerson said. “It’s an opportunity [with New York], but being with these guys in the locker room here, the personalities, the talent, we all got the feeling there was something special for 2011. 
“It’s tough, but where one door closes, another one opens, I guess, to be complete cliche about it. It’s a game of supply and demand. I had a good time here, but how I have to look forward at what I have to do to help the next team succeed.
“It’s exciting. I think everybody, somewhere in his heart, wants to be a Yankee.”
Dickerson left Maryvale Baseball Park just after 9 a.m. local time to pack-up his Spring Training residence. He planned to travel overnight to Tampa to report to Yankees camp. 
It’s a reunion of sorts. Dickerson was drafted by the Yankees out of high school in the 32nd round of the 2000 Draft but attended the University of Nevada instead. Three years later, he went to the Reds in the 16th round. 
“That whole circle of life, I guess, brings me to New York,” he said. 
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More moves

In addition to trading outfielder Chris Dickerson to the Yankees for righty Sergio Mitre, the Brewers made the following roster moves Friday morning:

— Optioned catcher Martin Maldonado to Triple-A Nashville, where he’ll probably share time with Mike Rivera. 
— Optioned right-hander Wily Peralta to Double-A Huntsville.
— Returned right-hander Zack Segovia to Minor League camp. 
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Brewers trade for righty Mitre

The Brewers added a candidate for their fifth starter slot on Friday in right-hander Sergio Mitre, acquired from the Yankees for outfielder Chris Dickerson in Milwaukee’s first Major League trade of 2011. 
Mitre, 30, is 13-29 with a 5.27 ERA in 177 games, including 64 starts, over seven big league seasons with the Cubs, Marlins and Yankees. He had a 5.73 ERA in Yankees Spring Training games. 
The Brewers need a fill-in for injured Zack Greinke at the start of the season, and Mitre will presumably be in the mix. The leading inside candidate is nonroster right-hander Marco Estrada. 
The Brewers had acquired Dickerson last season from the Reds for fellow outfielder Jim Edmonds, and Dickerson’s departure leaves Brandon Boggs and Jeremy Reed a solid chance of beginning the year on Milwaukee’s Major League roster. There would be spots for both if regular right fielder Corey Hart begins on the disabled list with a rib-cage strain.
But general manager Doug Melvin may not be done making moves. reported that the Brewers are among the teams looking at Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan, a left-handed-hitting center fielder.
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Brewers, Orioles return Rule 5 picks

Rule 5 right-handers Pat Egan and Adrian Rosario both cleared waivers Thursday and were returned to their original clubs — Egan to the Orioles and Rosario to the Brewers. The teams plucked each other’s relievers during December’s Rule 5 Draft, and by rule would have had to keep the selected player on the 25-man roster all season or offer him back. 

The Brewers assigned Rosario to advanced Class A Brevard County.
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Estrada has inside track on fifth starter spot

The Brewers’ list of in-house candidates to replace injured starter Zack Greinke at the start of the season has been whittled down to one — Right-hander Marco Estrada, who made a statement Wednesday with 4 1/3 scoreless innings against the Padres. 

The Brewers are also looking at about a half-dozen pitchers in other camps who could become available in the final days of Spring Training. One name under consideration is former Milwaukee right-hander Dave Bush, a non-roster invitee for Texas who appears unlikely to make that team’s roster. 
“Doug [Melvin, the team’s general manager] is still looking,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. 
But if the Brewers stay in-house, it will be Estrada. He’ll start again Saturday against the Mariners, bumping right-hander Shaun Marcum to Sunday’s game against the White Sox. Marcum missed his last start with a stiff shoulder, but the Brewers are confident he’ll be able to start the regular season as the No. 2 starter, debuting April 2 against the Reds. 
With Greinke out with a cracked rib, the Brewers expect to need a fifth starter for the first time on April 6 against the Braves. They won’t need a start from that spot again until April 16, by which time right-hander Mark Rogers could also be an option. 
Considering Estrada “is basically who we’re looking at” for April 6, according to Roenicke, it means the Brewers are no longer looking at right-hander Wily Peralta, a 21-year-old top prospect who struggled in his Cactus League outings. Peralta has made just eight starts above the Class-A level. 
“That’s asking a lot from him” to jump to the Majors, Roenicke said. “For me, he’s just too young of a guy. I know sometimes guys at that young age can do it, but I don’t know if that’s realistic.”
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Rising Stars rosters announced

News from the Brewers:
The rosters for the first ever Rising Stars Game presented by West Bend, the Silver Lining, at Miller Park were announced today and include some of the best and brightest Minor League talent in the Brewers system. 
The Rising Stars Game will take place at Miller Park on Saturday, April 2 with a 3:10 p.m. first-pitch.  
The afternoon will also be the public debut of the new Miller Park high-definition scoreboard.
The “Blue Team” will be managed by Don Money, who is in his third season of manager of the Triple A Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League. Players on the Blue Team include:
Kentrail Davis, Fifth-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America, 39th overall selection (first supplemental round) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft
Khris Davis, Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star in 2010
Eric Farris, Seventh-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America 
Mike Fiers, named Florida State League postseason All-Star in 2010
Kyle Heckathorn, ninth-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America
Hunter Morris, best power hitter in Brewers organization according to Baseball America, 2010 fourth-round draft pick, fourth-round selection in the 2010 First Year Player Draft
Sergio Miranda, named Florida State League midseason and postseason All-Star in 2010 
Amaury Rivas, named Southern League All-Star in 2010, 10th-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America 
Cody Scarpetta, Second-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America
Zelous Wheeler, best infield arm in Brewers organization according to Baseball America
The “White Team” will be managed by Matt Erickson, who is entering his first season as manager of the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League. Some of the players on Erickson’s squad include: 
Scooter Gennett, 2009 16th Round Draft Pick, Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star team, Fourth-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America
Caleb Gindl, Florida State League midseason and postseason All-Star in 2009
Taylor Green, 2007 Brewers Minor League Player of the Year
Cody Hawn, 2010 Sixth Round Draft Pick and 2010 Pioneer League All-Star
Erik Komatsu, 2010 Brewers Minor League Player of the Year
Martin Maldonado, named best defensive catcher in the organization according to Baseball America
Wily Peralta, Third-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America
Austin Ross, Member of Louisiana State University’s 2009 National Championship team
Tyler Thornburg, Sixth-best organizational prospect according to Baseball America, third-round selection in the 2010 First Year Player Draft
All players on the rosters are subject to change.
Players from the “White Team” will sign autographs on the field from 1:05 – 1:45 p.m. on Saturday while the “Blue Team” will sign from 1:50 – 2:30 p.m.
Both team managers and select players will be available to the media on Friday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Media Interview Room at Miller Park prior to a 6 p.m. workout for both teams. The workout is closed to the public.
Each team will wear custom designed jerseys. Following the game, the players will autograph their game jersey, which will be entered into a jersey raffle with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Brewers Community Foundation. Kids 16 and under will be able to run the bases after the game.
All fans in attendance will be entered into a random seat drawing and four lucky fans will win the opportunity to sit in either the dugout or bullpen and experience the game from a unique vantage point for an entire inning.
The Rising Stars Game presented by West Bend, the Silver Lining will take place two days prior to the Brewers Home Opener and will give fans the first opportunity to see Miller Park’s brand new scoreboard. 
Tickets for the game are on sale now. All reserved seats are $10 and may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Parking is $8 per car and the parking lots will open at noon. The Miller Park gates will open two hours prior to first pitch (1:00 p.m.).
Here are the complete rosters:
(Home Team)
         # PLAYER
CATCHERS 20 Garfield, Cameron
        35 Maldonado, Martin
1B/DH 33 Halton, Sean
        29 Hawn, Cody
Mid INF 10 Gennett, Scooter
Rivera, Yadiel
        17 Shaw, Nick
3B          11 Green, Taylor
          1 Dykstra, Cutter
OF’ers 27 Gindl, Caleb
        13 Komatsu, Erik
         3 Allison, Kenny
Utility 25 Vucinich, Shea
PITCHERS         37 Miller, Matt
        41 Peralta, Wily
        50 Hinton, Robert
        39 Merklinger, Dan
        38 Ross, Austin
        47 Thornburg, Tyler
STAFF 24 MGR – Erickson, Matt
        40 Pit – Hook, Chris
        31 Coach – Rhodes, Dusty
          Trainer – Paxson, Jeff
(Visiting Team)
                          # PLAYER
CATCHERS 15 Roberts, Tyler
                28 Neda, Rafael
1B/DH          8 Davis, Khris
                14 Morris, Hunter
Mid INF         23 Wheeler, Zelous
                 2 Farris, Eric
                 5 George, Carlos
3B                 18 Walker, Mike
OF’ers         32 Davis, Kentrail
bsp;            30 Richardson, D’Vontrey
                 9 Haydel, Lee
                26 Keen, Reggie
Utility         16 Miranda, Sergio
PITCHERS        36 Hand, Donovan
                48 Fiers, Mike
                45 Scarpetta, Cody
                43 Rivas, Amaury
                46 Heckathorn, Kyle
                49 Nelson, Jimmy
Staff Name
                         7 MGR – Money, Don
                        22 Pit. – Tunnell, Lee
                21 Coach – Williams, Reggie
                        Trainer – Neville, Frank
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Estrada steps up

Minor League right-hander Marco Estrada made a strong bid for a spot in Milwaukee’s April pitching rotation on Tuesday, when he held the Padres scoreless on three singles over 4 1/3 innings at Maryvale Baseball Park. He struck out four, walked one and received lots of high-fives after reaching the dugout from teammates who well-know that the Brewers need somebody to step up.
The 27-year-old Estrada, who pitched briefly for the Brewers last season, is among a handful of internal candidates to make April starts in place of Zack Greinke, who will begin the regular season on the disabled list with a cracked rib. 
Estrada would rather not think about that competition. 
“I’m trying not to, too much,” he said. “I’m trying to go out and do all of my lifts, throw the ball, stay in shape, keep my head down and work hard. If it happens, great. I’ll be the happiest guy in the world. If it doesn’t, I’ll keep busting my butt and get up there eventually.” 
The Brewers need a fifth starter on April 6, and then again April 16 and 26 if Greinke remains sidelined. 
Estrada is not even a member of big-league camp, but started Tuesday’s “A” game against the Padres in place of 21-year-old prospect Wily Peralta, who recorded only one out against the Rockies last week and was shifted to a Minor League game instead. 
“It felt great, especially being able to start over there. That’s what I love to do,” said Estrada, who had already returned to the club’s Minor League complex by the time reporters tracked him down. “I felt good out there. I felt confident and I threw strikes.” 
Manager Ron Roenicke will confer with pitching coach Rick Kranitz before finalizing the rotation for the final week of Spring Training, but guessed that Estrada will get another “A” game start. 
“[Kranitz] liked the way he pitched,” Roenicke said. “His change-up was good, he had nice movement on his fastball and he threw some breaking balls that were pretty nice, too. We know he throws strikes. That’s what he did for [the Brewers] last year. We know he has experience with a couple of games, so he shouldn’t freak out. 
“He’s definitely a possibility.”
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Gamel optioned out; tougher call coming next year

The Brewers burned Mat Gamel’s final Minor League option when they shipped the infielder to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, ending a bid for an Opening Day roster spot that never really began. 
Gamel missed the first two weeks of Cactus League games with a right rib-cage strain he suffered early in Spring Training. He had a similarly ill-timed setback in 2010, when a torn muscle behind his right shoulder cost Gamel a chance to compete for a big-league job. 
The 25-year-old Gamel is a career .302 hitter in the Minor Leagues and will spend time at Triple-A for the fourth consecutive season. His option is good all year, meaning the Brewers can promote him to the Majors and demote him to the Minors multiple times in 2011. 
The tougher decision could come in 2012, when Gamel will be out of options and potentially a key player for the Brewers if Prince Fielder departs via free agency. Gamel came up as a third baseman, but was tried-out at first base and the corner outfield spots last season and is expected to move around again in 2011.
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Greinke and the basketball question

The great website got its hands on a copy of the uniform player’s contract, and I thought Brewers fans may be particularly interested in the section about “other sports.” This topic came up earlier this month when right-hander Zack Greinke was injured playing pick-up basketball. 

As GM Doug Melvin said then, Greinke did not violate his contract because it only stipulates that he cannot participate in organized basketball leagues. Here’s the actual language of what a player can and cannot do:
Other Sports
5.(b) The Player and the Club recognize and agree that the Player’s participation in certain other sports may impair or destroy his skill and ability as a baseball player. Accordingly, the Player agrees that he will not engage in professional boxing or wrestling; and that, except with the written consent of the Club, he will not engage in skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving, or in any game or exhibition of football, soccer, professional league basketball, ice hockey or other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury. 
Manager Ron Roenicke has been asked daily about Greinke’s progress, and has had little to report. Greinke is still in the treatment phase of his recovery, doing arm exercises and maintaining cardiovascular fitness while everybody waits for his cracked left rib to heal. The timetable for his return remains murky.
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Illness sidelines Fielder, Braddock

Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder was sent home to begin a program of antibiotics for a sinus infection, the latest annoyance for a club that has sure had its share this spring. 

For those scoring at home, that’s eight of the nine projected Opening Day starters who have missed a Spring Training game with some sort of medical matter. Reliever Zach Braddock is sick, too, and will miss his scheduled outing against the Padres on Tuesday. 
Fielder cut short his batting practice on Monday, complained of feeling ill and was scratched from the starting lineup for a game that was ultimately rained out. With Fielder still out on Tuesday, here’s Milwaukee’s lineup for the day before the off-day:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF

Ryan Braun  LF
Casey McGehee  3B
Mark Kotsay  RF
Yuniesky Betancourt  SS
George Kottaras  C
Erick Almonte  1B
Marco Estrada  RHP
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