Results tagged ‘ Gregg Zaun ’

Zaun riffs on his 0-for-the season

Think Gregg Zaun is sweating the 0-for-14 start to his Brewers career? Here’s what he had to say on Sunday afternoon:

“I’m fine,” Zaun said. “It would be hard to take if I wasn’t having quality at-bats, if I wasn’t putting the ball in play hard. But everybody goes through stretches where they hit balls hard and they catch them. It’s part of the game. There’s eight guys out there with gloves on, and you know what? A lot of these Major League teams are sharp; they pitch you a certain way and defense you a certain way, and if you’re a guy who hits the ball where it’s pitched, a lot of times you end up hitting the ball into the defense. And yes, there have been several outstanding plays made when I’ve been hitting. I expect to see at least three or four at-bats of mine on the Web Gems or on This Week in Baseball.

“Let’s see. We’ve had, [Cardinals right fielder Ryan] Ludwick make a diving catch. [Rockies first baseman Todd] Helton makes a diving catch. Helton standing right on the bag for another one that is a base hit if he’s not standing there. Albert [Pujols, the Cardinals' first baseman] makes a great stop in the hole to save two runs. That was me, too. Then the [Cardinals] third baseman [on Saturday], looking in the stands, not even looking at the play, he ricochets it right to Felipe Lopez [the St. Louis shortstop, who threw to first to retire Zaun]. …
“Whatever.”
Now he’s got the reporters gathered around him cracking up. He kept on rolling. 
“I’m not going to cry about it,” Zaun said. “Nobody in their right mind can say they are hitting a hard .000. What can you do? I’m pleased with my at-bats. I’ve had plenty of very, very crisp contact. The only difference between this and Spring Training is they weren’t right at people in Spring Training.”

Zaun led the Brewers with a .477 Cactus League average. 

“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “It is frustrating, I’m not going to lie. I am frustrated. After having the best spring of my career, I expected a lot of great things to happen, and you know what? They still will. So what? It’s 14 at-bats. … Hitting the ball right on the nose five or six times out of 14, and I’ve walked a few times [so] I could very easily be hitting .400. I’m not going to change my approach and I’m not going to change my swing in any way, shape or form and there’s no panic.”
Zaun continues to be slowed by a left quadriceps strain. He has not seen the kind of progress that he had expected, but after a chat with head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Friday afternoon he decided to stick with the current course of treatment. The injury has slowed Zaun on the bases but has not affected him at the plate. 
“I really wanted to make a good first impression on the fans here in Milwaukee and have a great homestand and continue to do what I was doing in Spring Training on some level,” Zaun said. “Things haven’t worked out exactly the way I planned them to. …
“I’m trying to keep a sense of humor to the start of the season, as much as I can. All the while, I hope everybody knows that I take it as seriously as anybody and I’m very disappointed with this first sampling of games here at Miller Park.”
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Brewers' lineup for final exhibition game

It appears yesterday’s lineup really may have been a preview of what’s to come on Opening Day. Today’s lineup is identical with one small change.
After sitting out yesterday due to a left hamstring injury, Jim Edmonds is in the lineup for today’s game. Edmonds, batting fifth, will replace fellow outfielder Jody Gerut as the Brewers’ designated hitter.
It’s great to see Edmonds get an opportunity to hit at least once at Miller Park before the season begins. 
Additionally, with catcher Gregg Zaun back in the lineup once again today, it looks like his injury situation should be nothing to worry about.
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Jim Edmonds  DH
Casey McGehee  3B
Gregg Zaun   C
Corey Hart   RF
Alcides Escobar  SS
RHP Dave Bush
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
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Opening Day lineup preview?

UPDATE — One late change. Macha is breaking his own rule and using the designated hitter in a National League ballpark. Jody Gerut will fill that role, batting ninth. 
For the first time, manager Ken Macha posted a lineup on Friday that could be a preview of Opening Day. Gregg Zaun is back from a quadriceps issue, and Corey Hart will continue to look for ways out of his spring slump. 
We’ll see whether Hart or Jim Edmonds is in right field come Monday. That’s probably the biggest question mark facing the Brewers as they tune up for the opener. 
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Gregg Zaun   C
Corey Hart   RF
Alcides Escobar  SS
Jody Gerut  DH
LHP Doug Davis

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Edmonds could be Opening Day right fielder

Brewers manager Ken Macha confirmed what general manager Doug Melvin hinted on Tuesday: That Jim Edmonds, and not Corey Hart, could very well be the team’s Opening Day right fielder.  
The choice will depend partly on whether Hart shows any signs of life at the plate in the Brewers’ final four Spring Training games and partly on when Edmonds re-joins the team. He traveled home on Monday night to tend to an urgent family matter and, as of Wednesday morning, Macha wasn’t sure when Edmonds would be able to return.  
It helps Edmonds’ case that he is a left-handed hitter. Hart bats right-handed, and the Rockies’ Opening Day starter is righty Ubaldo Jimenez. 
Hart has been working his way through a dismal spring. He went 0-for-3 against the Angels on Tuesday and entered Wednesday’s game against the Cubs with a .135 batting average (7-for-52) a .167 on-base percentage and 16 strikeouts versus only two walks. It’s not for a lack of playing time; only three teammates entered play Wednesday with more at-bats than Hart.  
“He really hasn’t put together a game or two where he’s had quality at-bats,” Macha said.  
Hart won his arbitration case with the Brewers over the winter and will draw a $4.8 million salary in 2010. 
The other position in flux is catcher, where Gregg Zaun missed another game Wednesday with a left quadriceps strain. If he cannot amass some at-bats before Opening Day, the backup option is George Kottaras. Left fielder Ryan Braun, who had missed the team’s last four games because of a stiff back, returned to the lineup against the Cubs.
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Capuano, Loe, Narveson raising eyebrows

Chris Capuano was pleased with his throwing session on Tuesday, his first action in big league camp since he suffered an elbow injury nearly two years ago. His manager was pleased, too. 
“One of the impressive things is that he threw change-ups, and his arm action on the change-up was very good,” Ken Macha said Wednesday morning. “I kind of liked what I saw there.”
Macha said he’s also been impressed by big right-hander Kameron Loe. Pitching coach Rick Peterson told Macha he liked what he’s seen from lefty Chris Narveson. 
“Last year we were kind of looking for people to fill the spots,” Macha said. “We’ve got tremendous competition for the spots this year. We’ve got a tremendous amount of depth in this camp.”
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Rehabbing right-hander Mark DiFelice stopped by the field Wednesday morning as the big league campers stretched. He’s sidelined following shoulder surgery and said he is probably a month away from beginning a throwing program. 
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Catcher Gregg Zaun returned to action on Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday with a stomach ailment. 
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Upcoming online chats

Brewers TV play-by-play man Brian Anderson will take part in an online chat Friday at 10 a.m. CT in which I am sure he will answer all of your concerns, and a trio of players will follow him on Sunday. Gregg Zaun, Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva will take part in a chat at 3:30 p.m. CT Sunday during the “Brewers On Deck” event. 

You’ll have to be registered with MLB.com to submit questions for both chats. More information is available by clicking through to Brewers.com.
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Brewers sign catcher Zaun

The Brewers didn’t wait for the start of next week’s Winter Meetings to make their first Major League free agent signing.

The team on Friday inked switch-hitting catcher Gregg Zaun to a one-year deal with a club option for 2011 in a move that signaled the end of Jason Kendall’s tenure in Milwaukee. The sides reached terms late Thursday night and Zaun traveled to Milwaukee early Friday morning for a physical exam.

“It was an opportunity to play every day and I’m excited about that,” Zaun said. “I’m 38 years old and a lot of people have made assumptions about how much I can play, but I like that challenge. I’ll have to earn it every day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

The Brewers were the most aggressive of Zaun’s suitors, and the financial package they offered didn’t hurt. Zaun, who earned $1.5 million last season from the Orioles and Rays, is guaranteed $2.15 million in his contract with the Brewers. 

He’ll get a $1.9 million salary in 2010 with the opportunity to earn $600,000 more in bonuses based on games started. The Brewers hold a $2.25 million option for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout.

“They were aggressive early,” Zaun said. “It made me feel important to them.” 

He will play an important role in 2010. Kendall had been Milwaukee’s regular catcher the past two seasons but he earned $5 million in 2009 and Brewers officials decided to go with a cheaper option. 

The Brewers now have to decide how to line up Zaun’s backups. The incumbents include Mike Rivera, who has been Milwaukee’s back-up since 2006 but he’s arbitration-eligible this winter and can expect a bump in pay. The Brewers also claimed left-handed hitter George Kottaras off waivers from the Red Sox this fall and have a pair of catching prospects in Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy. If the team decides to promote Lucroy all the way from Double-A, a possibility already raised by general manager Doug Melvin, the experienced Zaun could help him break into the Majors.

Zaun has already played for eight teams in a 15-year career that began with the Orioles in 1995. He split 2009 between Baltimore, where he mentored stud catching prospect Matt Wieters, and Tampa Bay, where he finished the year after an August trade. In 90 games he was a .260 hitter with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.

Zaun is a Type B free agent and Tampa Bay offered him arbitration. Because he signed before Monday’s deadline for players to accept or decline the offer, the Rays will receive a compensatory pick between the first- and second rounds of next year’s Draft.

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