Results tagged ‘ Jim Edmonds ’

Hart back in lineup vs. Garcia

With lefty Jaime Garcia set to start for St. Louis this afternoon, Corey Hart is back in right field for the second game of the Brewers’ series with the Cardinals. Jim Edmonds started the last two for the Brewers with a pair of righties taking the mound in Aaron Cook for the Rockies and Kyle Lohse for the Cardinals.

On the mound for Milwaukee will be Yovani Gallardo, pitching for the first time since signing a five-year, $30.1 million extension on Thursday. Gallardo, 24, and Garcia, 23, will meet in a duel of Mexican-born pitchers.
Here’s today’s Brewers starting lineup:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart  RF
Gregg Zaun  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Yovani Gallardo  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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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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'Out' dates coming up

Brewers officials are scheduled to meet Monday morning to discuss roster decisions, including a handful of players in camp who can elect free agency this week if they are not added to the 40-man roster.

The list of players with such “out” dates includes outfielder Jim Edmonds, catcher Matt Treanor and left-hander Scott Schoeneweis. Edmonds’ and Schoeneweis’ date is Thursday, when the Brewers return from their only Spring Training off-day to play the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz. Treanor was not sure of his precise date and general manager Doug Melvin said he preferred not to disclose it.

The clauses mean that the Brewers could have some decisions to make. Edmonds is probably part of the team’s Opening Day plans, but Treanor is still vying with 40-man roster member George Kottaras for the backup catcher job, and Schoeneweis is part of the Brewers’ complicated “combinations and permutations” in the pitching department.

In the race to back up starting catcher Gregg Zaun, the Brewers essentially have to choose between offense and defense. Kottaras bats left-handed and has shown significant power while batting .321 and slugging .679 in the Cactus League. Six of his nine hits have gone for extra bases, including a pair of home runs. Treanor, meanwhile, is batting just .200 and slugging .250, but he is an advanced defensive catcher with much more Major League experience.

“He’s done a fine job receiving the ball,” manager Ken Macha said. “I think he’s been very receptive to all instruction and he’s very knowledgeable about what’s going on. On the defensive side of it, I think he’s solid.”

Even in the very unlikely case he would be open to an assignment, the Brewers probably don’t have room for Treanor in the Minor Leagues because prospects Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy are already fighting for playing time.

Treanor planned to place a call Sunday night to his agent, Joel Wolf, to discuss his out date. 

“Defensively, handling the pitchers, I feel like I’ve done what I wanted to do,” Treanor said. “Offensively, I’ve missed some chances. … It’s a tough decision on the club because Georgie has been great.”

Schoeneweis signed a Minor League contract with Milwaukee on Feb. 9 and has allowed four earned runs but only three hits in six Spring Training games. He said Sunday that he would not be willing to accept a Minor League assignment. The Brewers already have one left-hander ticketed for the Major League bullpen in Mitch Stetter.

At least two other non-roster invitees have “out” clauses in their contracts, but both come into play during the regular season. Left-hander A.J. Murray can become a free agent if he’s not with the Brewers on June 15, and outfielder Trent Oeltjen can walk away if he is not in the Majors within 48 hours of July 1.
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Edmonds was in the lineup today against the White Sox. Here’s what the full card looks like:

WHITE SOX

Alexei Ramirez  SS
Jordan Danks  LF
Mark Kotsay  1B
Andruw Jones  CF
Alex Rios  RF
Ramon Castro  C
Jayson Nix  3B
Brent Lillibridge  2B
Freddy Garcia  RHP
BREWERS
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Gregg Zaun  C
Jim Edmonds  CF RF
Craig Counsell  3B
Alcides Escobar  SS
Randy Wolf  LHP
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Before Doug Davis pitches against the Angels in Monday’s “A” game, left-hander Chris Narveson will take the hill in a “B” game at Maryvale Baseball Park against the Rangers. One of the big league catchers will handle Narveson, and third baseman Casey McGehee and right fielder Corey Hart are scheduled to get some extra at-bats. 
McGehee, one of last year’s Spring Training All-Stars (.339 average, six homers), is hitting .206 this year. Hart is batting just .182. 
“I think those guys feel they could use some at-bats and Dale [Sveum, Milwaukee's hitting coach] feels they could use some at-bats also,” Macha said. “There’s no specific formula on how to get somebody at their best shape for Opening Day. We’re trying to do our best.”
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The Brewers are finally splitting up Dave Bush and Manny Parra. Bush will pitch Tuesday against the Indians and Parra will have to come in on the off-day Wednesday to pitch a Minor League game. Until this week, Bush and Parra have been pitching on the same day.
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Lefty Chris Capuano expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday. He has not pitched since March 11, when he developed some discomfort in his surgically-repaired elbow.
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Emptying Thursday's notebook

Some final notes after a 5-3 loss to the Giants in Scottsdale…

Jeff Suppan threw fastballs and changeups in an uneventful six-up, six-down spring debut and was happy with his afternoon. He focused on spotting his fastball and keeping his change-up low in the strike zone. 
“I felt good,” he said. “My goal was to go out and get ahead. That was No. 1. No. 2, I wanted to have a good downhill plane. I felt like I accomplished that.”
Suppan had to do a double-take when Giants starter Barry Zito drilled Prince Fielder with a pitch. (You can read some more about that later on Brewers.com.) 
“I was like, ‘What?’ I had to think what happened,” Suppan said. “Then, I remembered.”
Macha called the Zito-Fielder incident a, “non-issue.”
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Macha found a number of silver linings to the afternoon, and one of them didn’t show up in the box score. In Weeks’ second at-bat, he checked his swing on a Todd Wellemeyer pitch in the dirt without any complications. That was something of a big deal to Macha considering that Weeks is returning from a 2009 season mostly lost to wrist surgery. Weeks was injured on a check swing last year, Macha said. 
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Ryan Braun should make his spring debut on Friday after getting Thursday afternoon off but Macha couldn’t say for sure whether shortstop Alcides Escobar would start. Escobar had two root canals on Thursday (ouch) and has another dentist appointment scheduled for next week. 
On Friday, we should be able to provide more of an injury report on third baseman Mat Gamel, who was scratched Thursday because of a sore right shoulder, and pitcher Josh Butler, who has been bumped back a bit because of his own sore right arm. 
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Macha cautioned against reading too much into center fielder Carlos Gomez hitting second on Thursday. “We had problems with our two- and our five-hole last year, so we’ll give some [different] guys a chance to go out there,” Macha said. 
Speaking of the outfield, look for Jim Edmonds to get the start in center field or right field on Friday against the A’s. It’s Ben Sheets against Yovani Gallardo, whose contract was renewed Thursday, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. If you have MLB.com’s gameday audio package, you can listen to the exclusive webcast at Brewers.com. Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder will step behind the mic for the first time this year. 
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Emptying Thursday's notebook

Some random thoughts from Thursday morning:

First baseman Prince Fielder and infielder Luis Cruz reported to camp, leaving only shortstop Alcides Escobar yet to arrive. Escobar’s flight from Venezuela was canceled on Wednesday, so he’s expect to arrive at Maryvale Baseball Park on Friday, assistant GM Gord Ash said. 
When he does arrive, manager Ken Macha intends to work him slowly into the rotation. Escobar played winter ball in Venezuela and saw much more playing time than the Brewers might have liked, hitting .393 in 45 games and 173 at-bats. 
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Rehabbing reliever David Riske was scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound on Thursday, and Macha believed it was Riske’s first such workout since he reported to camp. Riske underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last June and remains a long shot to be ready for Opening Day. He threw some bullpen sessions at home in Las Vegas before reporting for Spring Training.
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Something would have to go terribly wrong for the Brewers to need a backup first baseman this season, but Macha said that the job could go to outfielder Jim Edmonds, assuming Edmonds makes the roster. Edmonds, one of baseball’s best center fielders in the past two decades, has appeared at first in 51 Major League games over eight different seasons. 
“Willie [Randolph, Milwaukee's infield coach] had him over there the other day and he was picking it pretty good,” Macha said. 
Fielder was the only player in the Majors who appeared in all of his team’s games last season. He started all 162 games and played all but four innings. Casey McGehee backed him up. 
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Macha told reporters that he’s working to improve his personal relationships with players this spring. He’s always had an open door policy, but realizes that sometimes it’s best to invite a player to walk through that door. 
“Am I going to change? Well, we’re working on it,” Macha said. 
One player took advantage of the open door on Thursday. After checking out his locker in the clubhouse, Fielder went straight for the manager’s office. 
“He had a big smile on his face,” Macha said. “He’s ready.”
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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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Edmonds contract details

Get out your calculators, I’ve got some details on Jim Edmonds’ contract with the Brewers. 
It was a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league camp, so Edmonds must win a roster spot first. If he does, his Major League base salary would be $850,000. 
Then come the performance incentives, and there are a lot of them. Edmonds would get $115,000 for each of 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400 and 425 plate appearances, plus $200,000 for each of 475, 500 and 525 plate appearances. All told, that adds up to $1.75 million in incentives, meaning Edmonds could top out at $2.6 million if he plays for the Brewers all season and steps to the plate 525 times or more. 
More likely, he would earn something in the middle. In his last season, 2008, Edmonds had 298 plate appearances for the Padres and Cubs. In the three seasons prior to that, he had 401, 411 and 408 plate appearances for the Cardinals.
Edmonds’ deal also has the usual awards bonuses, including a $100,000 payout for winning Comeback Player of the Year. And, as was reported when he signed, Edmonds can opt out of the deal if he’s not added to Milwaukee’s Major League roster on March 25.  
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Edmonds excited to launch comeback

edmonds.jpg

Jim Edmonds is a four-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove outfielder, so he doesn’t have a lot of experience competing for a job in Spring Training. He understands that he’ll have to do precisely that beginning next month. 
“They didn’t make me any promises,” said Edmonds, who inked a Minor League contract with the Brewers on Friday that included an invitation to big league camp. “But I’ll get to go in there with a chance to show them I can still play.” 
Edmonds, 39, has not seen big league pitching since the 2008 postseason, when he capped a solid second half with the Cubs. But he was among the veterans searching in vain for a job amid a poor economy last winter, and when he didn’t find any offers to his liking, Edmonds opted to take a year off. 
Now the Brewers are hoping that Edmonds mounts a comeback similar to Gabe Kapler’s two years ago. Kapler, who like Edmonds is represented by agent Paul Cohen, returned from a year off and was an extremely productive extra outfielder for Milwaukee in 2008, batting .301 in 96 games. 
Edmonds has not seen a live Major League pitch since Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 8, 2004 Oct. 4, 2008. Might that be an issue as he launches his comeback? 
“I don’t think so,” Edmonds said. “I’ve been hurt before and missed time, and I never had a problem coming back. I’ve been hitting the last week a lot more than I normally do, and it’s going really well. I’m pretty excited that I was able to pick it up again. I was in St. Louis this week hitting with Albert and that was a lot of fun.” 
That would be Albert Pujols, one of the greatest hitters on the planet. That reunion, Edmonds said, reinforced his desire to get back into baseball. 
He made it clear in recent weeks that his intention was to return, and his first choice was to do so in St. Louis, where Edmonds played from 2000-2007 and won a World Series ring. Cardinals general manager Jon Mozeliak told Edmonds on Wednesday that he didn’t see a fit, so Edmonds looked elsewhere and found a new home in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon. 
He reportedly will earn an $825,000 base salary if he makes the Brewers’ roster with an opportunity to earn as much as $2.5 million with incentives. If Edmonds isn’t added to the 40-man roster by March 25, he can elect free agency. 
That “out” date is 12 days before the Brewers’ season opener. 
“You know what? I don’t know how that is going to go,” Edmonds said. “I’ve played 15 years and I’ve probably had a guaranteed job in 13 of them.” 
In those 15 seasons, plus a September call-up with the Angels in 1993, Edmonds is a .284 hitter with a .377 on-base percentage, 382 home runs and 1,176 RBIs. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, looking for left-handed bench bats to compliment a right-handed-heavy starting lineup, first contacted Cohen about Edmonds during the 2009 World Series, but for months Edmonds didn’t see a good match. 
That changed this past week. 
“It has been a little bit of an adjustment change on my part,” he said. “I was away from the game last year but I was never really retired, and I had to decide whether I wanted to go into a situation to prove myself. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have made a good amount of money and played for a long time, but I’ve worked really hard in the past couple of months and have been doing a lot of hitting and it has come back to be quick.”
His next task is to win a job. The Brewers’ projected outfield starters, from left to right, are Ryan Braun, newcomer Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart, and Jody Gerut is penciled in as the primary backup. Edmonds is among four non-roster outfielders invited to camp with Trent Oeltjen, Logan Schafer and Adam Stern. Schafer will almost certainly begin the season in the Minors, as will the other outfielder on the 40-man roster, Lorenzo Cain.  
Edmonds is by far the most experienced of the group. Stern has 37 Major League plate appearances over three seasons with the Red Sox and Orioles. Oeltjen logged 73 plate appearances last August and September with the D-backs. Edmonds has 7,708 career plate appearances for the Angels, Cardinals, Padres and Cubs. 
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