Results tagged ‘ AJ Murray ’

Four more camp cuts

A former first-round Draft pick and the Brewers’ reigning Minor League pitcher of the year were among the latest round of camp cuts Monday. 
Right-handers Mark Rogers and Amaury Rivas were optioned to Double-A Huntsville, and left-hander A.J. Murray and catcher Martin Maldonado were returned to Minor League camp. The moves left 48 players on the Brewers’ spring roster. 
Rogers, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2004, and Rivas, who won top pitcher honors last season, each appeared twice in Cactus League games. For Rogers, it marked another step on a long road back from shoulder injuries that so far have derailed his professional career. 
“He’s worked very hard,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “His delivery is such that he’s a little more on-line — a lot more online. When you start cutting loose on pitches like he did this year, he should feel very good.”
Rogers did not allow a run in a pair of two-inning appearances. It was his second Major League Spring Training camp, but he was unable to pitch last year because he was still recovering from a 2008 season lost entirely to shoulder surgery. 
Last year at Class A Brevard County, Rogers had a 1.67 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance. He also pitched in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. 
They key, he agreed, it simply staying healthy.
“I’m OK with that statement,” Rogers said. That’s been our goal, to get 100 percent healthy and compete at the highest level. I’ve done that. I’ve been able to prove to [Macha] and everybody else that I’m healthy, and now I have to go do it consistently. There’s more work I can do, but it is already getting more and more comfortable.”
Rogers, 24, was pleased that his parents, Craig and Staphanie, were in the stands for both of his Cactus League outings. They were in town from Maine. 
Rivas is also 24 and was Rogers’ teammate last season at Brevard County, where he went 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA and was honored along with Minor League Player of the Year Logan Schafer. Macha was impressed with Rivas’ change-up, which the manager referred to as a, “plus, plus pitch.” 
Murray and Maldonado were both in camp as nonroster invitees. Murray, who has big league experience with the Rangers, will likely end up at Triple-A Nashville. 
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DiFelice on Minors deal: 'They did me a favor'

The Brewers re-signed reliever Mark DiFelice to a Minor League contract on Tuesday and also announced they had picked up former Rangers left-hander A.J. Murray on a Minors deal that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training camp.  
DiFelice will not be in big league camp because he will be rehabbing from a Dec. 3 shoulder surgery that’s likely to sideline him for all of 2010. The Brewers nontendered DiFelice on Saturday to free his spot on the 40-man roster, briefly making the 33-year-old a free agent.  
Milwaukee took a similar strategy last year with left-hander Chris Capuano, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008 and missed most of the 2009 season. Since Capuano and DiFelice suffered their injury on the Brewers’ watch, the team is contractually obligated to pay for their rehabilitation. By signing the players to a Minor League contract, assistant general manager Gord Ash said, the club’s medical officials have more control over that process.
Capuano made six Minor League appearances late in the 2009 season and has since re-signed another Minors contract for 2010.  
In 74 Brewers appearances over the past two seasons, DiFelice posted a 3.44 ERA. Working almost exclusively with his signature cut fastball, he held right-handed hitters to a .218 batting average. 
“They did me a favor bringing me back,” DiFelice said. “Whether that’s because they feel some responsibility to rehab the injury, or they just think I’ll be able to help later on, I don’t know. Hopefully, they feel like I’m going to make a comeback and that I can be a valuable commodity for the future and help them. It’s just a testament to the relationship I have with the Brewers.  
“I’m glad it worked out. I didn’t want it to end the way it did.” 
DiFelice will earn slightly less than $100,000 in 2010. He will be a free agent again after the season, but said that if he’s healthy it would be difficult to leave the organization. 
“If they’re going to sign me knowing I won’t be able to participate, I want to come back the following year,” he said.  
Like Capuano, DiFelice will work at the team’s year-round facility in Phoenix. He concedes he’s a long shot to pitch in 2010, but is not ready to completely write off that possibility.  
“I still have hopes of pitching at the end of this year,” said DiFelice, whose surgery repaired a torn labrum and rotator cuff. “With this type of injury, it’s all about how I respond.”  
Murray, 27, had been in the Texas Rangers organization since 2001.  He pitched at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City last season, going a combined 4-2 with a 2.87 ERA and one save in 41 relief appearances.   
He made 16 appearances in the Major Leagues with the Rangers between 2007 (14 games, two starts) and 2008 (two starts), going 2-2 with a 4.29 ERA. 
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