Results tagged ‘ Craig Counsell ’

Edmonds, Counsell to start against Astros

No surprises in the Brewers lineup Monday.

With a right-hander on the mound in the form of Astros starter Bud Norris, veteran left-handed hitters Jim Edmonds and Craig Counsell will start in center field and at shortstop, respectively.
They’ll give Carlos Gomez and rookie Alcides Escobar some rest.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Lucroy  C
Counsell  SS
Parra  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Edmonds, Counsell to start series finale

Manager Ken Macha made no major changes to the Brewers lineup Thursday, but two veterans are back in the starting lineup in favor of a pair of youngsters.

At shortstop and center field, Macha opted for Jim Edmonds and Craig Counsell, giving Carlos Gomez and rookie Alcides Escobar the day off.
Aside from those two changes, the lineup is business as usual for Milwaukee:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Lucroy  C
Counsell  SS
Gallardo  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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No McGehee, Edmonds in finale

Third baseman Casey McGehee is getting a day off Sunday and center fielder Jim Edmonds is apparently unable to play, so veteran infielder Craig Counsell is making his first career start in the five-hole. Manager Ken Macha said last night he was hoping to start Edmonds this afternoon. I’ll update Edmonds physical status after speaking to Macha this morning. 

In the meantime, here is the lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Prince Fielder  1B
Ryan Braun  LF
Craig Counsell  3B
Carlos Gomez  CF
George Kottaras  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Randy Wolf  LHP
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Counsell, Kottaras in starting lineup

It’s Family Day at Miller Park, which means the infield is filled with the likes of Yovani Gallardo Jr. and Jaden and Haven Fielder, among others. 

Today’s lineup is mostly the same as it has been the last couple games, with two exceptions. At shortstop, Craig Counsell will start in place of Alcides Escobar and behind the plate, George Kottaras will start after sitting three consecutive days.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Counsell  SS
Kottaras  C
Gallardo  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Counsell leading off, Weeks batting 2nd

In what is likely an effort to get more runners on base in front of his power bats, Brewers manager Ken Macha put infielder Craig Counsell in the leadoff spot for Wednesday’s game with second baseman Rickie Weeks in the No. 2 hole.

Weeks becomes the 10th different Brewers hitter to bat second for the club this season. Counsell also becomes the third Brewers hitter to bat leadoff in 2010. 
Macha also appears to be loading the lineup with left-handed bats against Cubs’ right-hander Carlos Zambrano. Counsell replaces Alcides Escobar at shortstop and Jim Edmonds will start for Carlos Gomez in centerfield.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Counsell  SS
Weeks  2B
Fielder  1B
Braun  LF
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Hart  RF
Kottaras  C
Wolf  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Inglett available Thursday, Gerut still out

MILWAUKEE — Brewers manager Ken Macha expected to have just two pinch hitters in Thursday’s series finale against the Astros: Joe Inglett and Craig Counsell.

 

Inglett, who had limited since Saturday with a sprained left ankle, was likely the Brewers’ top option off the bench Thursday in an injury or pinch-hit situation. Macha said he wanted to get Counsell in the starting lineup, but did not want to lose a valuable bat off the bench

“I talked to Inglett, he’s been getting a little bit better,” Macha said. “If we had a problem, [Inglett would] go out there and play.”

The other two members of his bench, outfielder Jody Gerut and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, were unavailable. Gerut for injury reasons and Lucroy in case of injury to starting catcher George Kottaras.

Gerut, like Inglett, has been limited since Saturday with a bruised right heel. Unlike Inglett, however, Gerut had not made enough progress to be available against the Astros.

“He’s still moving a little bit slow, it looks like,” Macha said of Gerut.

But Macha said he remained hesitant to move Gerut to the disabled list, in part due to Edmonds’ recent progress.

“I tried to explain [Wednesday] that, you [don't] want to lose him for all those days,” Macha said. “Edmonds’ feeling was he probably could’ve been back by now, so now we’ve got to wait until a few more days.”

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Counsell starting at SS, Hart drops in order

With Alcides Escobar struggling at the plate lately, batting just .217 on the season, veteran infielder Craig Counsell will get the start today at shortstop. Counsell, who is second on the team wit a .309 average, will bat second, bumping right fielder Corey Hart from that spot.
Hart, who went 0-for-5 last night in the two hole, will bat eighth today, behind catcher Gregg Zaun and ahead of pitcher Chris Narveson.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:

Weeks  2B

Counsell  SS
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Zaun  C
Hart  RF
Narveson  P
And the Phillies lineup, which remains the same as last night:
Victorino  CF
Polanco  3B
Utley  2B
Howard  1B
Werth  RF
Ibanez  LF
Valdez  SS
Hoover  C
Blanton  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Stiff neck sidelines Counsell

Craig Counsell was a late scratch from the Brewers’ split-squad game against the Rockies at Maryvale Baseball Park and it appears the culprit was a stiff neck.

“I told Craig to let us know whether he could play or not,” said manager Ken Macha, who attended the team’s other split-squad game in Glendale, Ariz. but got a report from Maryvale. “I think he came in and took [batting practice] and it stiffened up on him.”

Counsell, 39, is a key member of a Brewers bench that took some shape on Saturday when the Rangers claimed another infielder, Hernan Iribarren, off waivers. With Iribarren out of the picture, it appears the leading candidate for the final infield spot after Counsell is Joe Inglett. Prospect Mat Gamel is also getting a look.

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All-lefty bench a possibility

The Brewers’ starting lineup figures to lean right this season, but manager Ken Macha said Tuesday that he could end up with an entirely left-handed hitting bench.  
“It tests the manager, whether he can sit one of the right-handers down and get the left-handers in [the lineup],” Macha said.  
Many of the starting positional players haven’t even reported to camp yet and things could change over six weeks of Spring Training, but the Brewers for now project to have six right-handed hitters in the regular lineup (second baseman Rickie Weeks, shortstop Alcides Escobar, third baseman Casey McGehee and an all-righty outfield of Ryan Braun in left, Carlos Gomez in center and Corey Hart in right. Catcher Gregg Zaun is a switch-hitter, and Prince Fielder bats left-handed.  
Then comes a bench that could have plenty of lefty bats. Craig Counsell is a lock to be the primary backup infielder and Jody Gerut is back as the fourth outfielder. The leading candidate for the other infield spot is probably waiver pick-up Joe Inglett (organizational veteran Hernan Iribarren is out of options and could be an interesting candidate, too), and the Brewers will give nonroster invitees Jim Edmonds and Trent Oeltjen a chance to win the final outfield spot. Among the potential backup catchers is George Kottaras, who could have an edge over prospects Jonathan Lucroy and Angel Salome because of his experience and over the experienced Matt Treanor because Treanor isn’t on the 40-man roster.  
Counsell, Gerut, Inglett, Iribarren, Edmonds, Oeltjen and Kottaras all bat left-handed.  
The key, Macha said, would be sprinkling some of those left-handed hitters into the lineup to balance the bench.  
“We’ll see how that plays out,” he said.
Some other notes from Macha’s Tuesday morning chat with reporters:
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Left-hander Chris Capuano, the former All-Star and 18-game winner attempting a comeback from his second career Tommy John surgery, was among the Brewers pitchers scheduled to throw off a mound Tuesday. Macha was looking forward to it. 
“I have to give this guy some credit with the amount of work he’s put in to get to this particular point,” Macha said. “Not just that, talking about him with Doug [Melvin, Milwaukee's general manager] and Gord [Ash], the assistant GM, this guy is a pretty established Major League pitcher. … I think he’s got a particular passion for the game and he’s going to play it all out. Good for him.”
Capuano is not considered a candidate for the Opening Day roster because he has only pitched six games since re-injuring his left elbow in March 2008. He finished last season at the Brewers’ Class A affiliate and will probably need some extensive time in the Minors this season to prove he’s healthy. 
But he is not limited in camp, and the Brewers are holding out some hope that he could help the big league club in the future. 
“It would be nice to strike some gold from somebody,” Macha said. 
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The first full-squad workout won’t be until Saturday, but the hitters are scheduled to see some live batting practice from pitchers on Friday morning. That should be an interesting day for someone like Edmonds, who hasn’t faced live pitching since the 2008 postseason with the Cubs. 
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Weeks stopped by camp over the weekend, but he’s been away since taking his physical to deal with what Macha called a, “dental issue.” Counsell and Iribarren reported on Tuesday morning, leaving only Braun, Escobar, Fielder and Minor Leaguers Luis Cruz and Logan Schafer yet to make an appearance.
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Former Brewer Darryl Hamilton stopped by Tuesday as a representative of the Major League Players Association to discuss some rules issues with the players. Among the topics was baseball’s continuing efforts to speed the pace of games and some tweaks to the rules about pitchers licking their fingers on the mound (but not on the pitching rubber). Deep stuff. 
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Strength and conditioning coordinator Chris Joyner introduced a new drill Tuesday that forced some smiles. Pitchers balanced on one foot on a foam square and underhanded a baseball back and forth. Then it was on to everyone’s favorite Spring Training exercise: pitchers fielding practice.
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Counsell: Brewers offered the best deal

Craig Counsell owed it to his family to take the best deal, even if it meant leaving his hometown team. When his hometown team offered the best deal, his choice became easy. 
Counsell and the Brewers finalized a $2.1 million, one year contract on Monday that ensured Counsell will play half his games within a bike ride of his suburban Milwaukee home. Counsell, who will turn 40 next August, projects as the team’s primary backup infielder and first bat off the bench. 
“There were more choices than last year, for sure, but in the end this was the best deal,” Counsell said. “I want to keep playing. I think I’m going strong. In the end, this was the best thing for both sides.”
Counsell batted .285 for the Brewers in 2009 with 34 extra-base hits, a .357 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage. Counsell also went 5-for-16 as a pinch-hitter in his best all-around season since 2001, when he played for a Diamondbacks club that won the World Series. 
He credited Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, who helped Counsell re-make his signature swing. Counsell lowered the position of his hands and the power followed. 
“The adjustments I made were huge. In a lot of ways I felt like a different offensive player,” Counsell said. “Now the challenge is to do it again, or to improve on it, really.” 
He’s an important piece for the Brewers, who will feature an injury-prone second baseman in Rickie Weeks, a rookie shortstop in Alcides Escobar and a second-year third baseman in Casey McGehee. All three of those players are right-handed hitters; Counsell is a lefty. 
According to the Associated Press, Counsell can earn $500,000 more in incentives: $50,000 each for 50, 75, 90 and 110 games, and $100,000 each for 125 games and 75 and 100 starts. 
Counsell wouldn’t name the other clubs that inquired about his services but hinted that some were offering more than the straight, one-year deal he got from the Brewers. 
“In the end, we decided to take the best one-year deal,” Counsell said. “That’s what we got.” 
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