Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Lucroy ’

Gomez out with stiff back

Center fielder Carlos Gomez is the latest Brewers regular to show up on the injury report. He was supposed to start Monday’s game against the Giants, but complained of a stiff back so Brandon Boggs is playing instead. 

It’s a minor setback, but those have been piling up for the Brewers. Of the nine projected Opening Day starters, seven have lost at least a handful of Cactus League innings to a medical issue. Pitcher Zack Greinke (cracked rib), catcher Jonathan Lucroy (fractured finger) and right fielder Corey Hart (rib-cage strain) have not played at all because of more serious injuries, and second baseman Rickie Weeks (groin), shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt (right quadriceps), left fielder Ryan Braun (rib-cage strain) and now Gomez have come out of a game early or missed a start as a precaution. Plus, closer John Axford got a late start because of food poisoning.
First baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Casey McGehee have been able to stay on their schedules. 
Perspective is in order, because none of the setbacks in Brewers camp have threatened a player’s season. Betancourt left Sunday’s game early, but he could be back in action as early as Tuesday. Braun returned to the lineup Monday after exiting Saturday with his rib strain. Weeks’ groin issue seems to have passed. Hart is making significant progress in recent days and was to begin swinging a bat on Monday. Lucroy will have the pin in his finger removed next week and is on track for Opening Day. 
Maybe the Brewers are just getting their injuries out of the way early. Better now than during the regular season. 
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Medical round-up: Lucroy, Hart, Gamel, Hawkins

Some medical updates from Brewers camp:
— Ron Roenicke confirmed that catcher Jonathan Lucroy could be ready for Opening Day if all goes according to plan in his recovery from a fractured right pinkie finger. A metal pin in Lucroy’s finger will come out on March 21, and Lucroy can begin hitting after that as the pain tolerates. 
“He threw to bases [on Saturday] without the splint on, and was good,” Roenicke said. “So really it’s just going to be a matter of gripping a bat, trying to get the flexibility back in his finger. That’s going to take a while. But everything else is good. He’s catching bullpens so his legs will be in shape.”
— Right fielder Corey Hart has been making significant progress in the past few days in his recovery from a left rib-cage strain, Roenicke said. Hart played catch, took grounders in the outfield and did core strengthening exercises on Saturday without issue.
“They’re going to try to step it up a little bit and put more on him, and see where he is,” Roenicke said. “He’s coming along pretty good. … In a couple of days, they’re hoping he can swing.”
— Third baseman/utility man/hitting prospect Mat Gamel was scheduled to take live batting practice for the first time on Sunday in Minor League camp. If it goes well, he could do it again Monday before slotting into Cactus League games. 
Gamel still has a chance to make the team, Roenicke said. But the fact he bats left-handed probably hurts his case — the Brewers already have Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell and probably Chris Dickerson slated for bench duty — and it will be more difficult at this stage of spring for Gamel to demonstrate his defensive versatility because the regulars are playing deeper into games. 
“I know he can hit,” Roenicke said. “It’s just a matter of how he fits on our club.”
— A trio of relievers are making good progress. 
Reliever LaTroy Hawkins was “feeling great today” about his live patting practice on Saturday, Roenicke said, and will probably throw some simulated innings this week before debuting in a game. He’s coming back steadily from shoulder surgery.
Left-hander Mitch Stetter, who strained a muscle behind his shoulder early in camp, is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Giants after throwing a successful live batting practice session Friday.   
Another left-hander Manny Parra, was very close to getting back on the mound, Roenicke said. 
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Lucroy hopeful about Opening Day

The pin surgically inserted in Jonathan Lucroy’s fractured right pinkie finger will be removed March 21, the Brewers said, and the player remains hopeful about catching Yovani Gallardo 10 days later in the team’s regular-season opener.
“That’s what we’re shooting for,” said Lucroy, projected as the Brewers’ No. 1 catcher. 
Once the pin is removed, Lucroy could begin hitting as much as pain tolerates him to do so, assistant general manager Gord Ash said. Lucroy could take extra at-bats in Minor League games to catch up. 
Dr. Don Sheridan, who inserted a metal pin into Lucroy’s finger to aid the healing process, examined the digit again Friday. The original schedule had Lucroy sidelined about four weeks from Feb. 24, the day after he was injured in a blocking drill. The Brewers’ season-opener is March 31 in Cincinnati. 
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Lucroy cleared to resume catching

The Brewers just announced some good news for catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He went back to Dr. Don Sheridan this morning and underwent x-rays on his fractured right pinkie finger that showed the injury was healing as expected. Lucroy was fitted for a splint, and cleared to resume catching bullpens and doing light throwing. 

He will be evaluated again in a week, but today’s news no doubt came as good news for the Brewers’ No. 1 catcher, who was growing tired of inactivity. He fractured his finger on Feb. 23 in a fielding drill and is expected to need about a month to recover.
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Brewers say Hart out two weeks

ANOTHER UPDATE postgame — Ron Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart should be back in game shape in two weeks, not that he’ll be shut down for two weeks. There’s a distinction there. The bottom line is that oblique injuries are tough to predict, so let’s just see how Hart progresses.

UPDATE at 2:10 p.m. CT — The Brewers just announced that Hart would engage in “rest and recovery” for the next two weeks, so that’s a somewhat more serious take on his injury. Here’s an update to the earlier note:
Brewers right fielder Corey Hart will miss about two weeks of exhibition games while recovering from a strained muscle along his left rib cage, the club announced Monday. 
That marked a somewhat more serious diagnosis than the one Hart gave a few hours earlier, after he was examined by Dr. Craig Young at Maryvale Baseball Park. Hart said he only expected to be shut down “a few more days.” 
“I think it’s hard to tell exactly how long it’s going to be,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “But [assistant GM Gord Ash] said there is a strain there, and he wants to be overprotective of it. I was a little bummed when I heard two weeks.” 
Roenicke’s understanding is that Hart could be back playing in games in two weeks, not that he would be entirely shut down for that entire period. 
Hart was hurt during a throwing drill Saturday. He said it was the first time he’d tweaked an oblique muscle in his career. 
“[Young] said we would probably push it a little harder if we were in the middle of the season, but there’s no reason to push it right now,” Hart said. “We’re going to try easing in so we don’t have any setbacks at all.”
Hart’s duties on Monday were limited to receiving treatment in the training room. He was among the handful players on the injury report as the Brewers kicked off their exhibition schedule:
— Relievers John Axford (illness), Manny Parra (back), Zach Braddock (blister), LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) and Mitch Stetter (undisclosed) were not on the list to pitch against the Giants of Cubs. Axford suffered a bout of food poisoning early in camp and has slowly been working back. Parra had some minor back stiffness last week and was scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Monday. Braddock had a small blister last week that should not keep him out long, and Hawkins remains on schedule in his return from last year’s shoulder surgery. Manager Ron Roencike said only that Stetter was being brought along slowly this spring.
— Top pitching prospect Mark Rogers was very encouraged by a throwing session on Sunday and hopes to get back on the mound by mid-week. Rogers, who has a long injury history, shut down a live batting practice session last week because of some stiffness in his right shoulder. 
“I felt great yesterday playing long toss,” he said. “It’s the best I’ve felt all spring. We’re slowly working our way back into it. I’m sure a bullpen is in the near future. I’d guess in the next few days. So far, it’s responded better than I expected it to.” 
It’s difficult to sit around with the exhibition schedule underway. 
“I’ve got the itch,” Rogers said. “I want to pitch.”
— Infielder Mat Gamel remains restricted from hitting because of his own rib-cage strain. He’s been able to take part in fielding drills during his layoff. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is out with a fractured right pinkie finger. He has a doctor’s appointment for late this week to set a plan for rehab.
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Lucroy to observe for a while

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy returned to Brewers camp on Friday with his fractured right pinkie finger heavily wrapped and his patience about to be tested.

Lucroy underwent surgery Thursday to insert a pin into his fractured finger. He’s expected to need four weeks to fully recover, and until a follow-up doctor’s appointment next week, he will only observe the Brewers’ workouts.

“They don’t want this to get infected,” he said, holding up a finger that was splinted and wrapped. “So no catching, not for a while. …

“It’s very awkward. I’m going to be very uncomfortable. I feel like a coach or something, or a batboy. But it’s part of it. I can’t do anything to re-injure it or hurt myself even worse, so I’m not going to take any chances. I’m a very impetuous person, very impatient, so I want to get after it, but that wouldn’t be the smart thing to do.”

Lucroy was hurt during a drill on Wednesday in which the catchers worked on taking throws from the outfield. The baseball took a bad hop and fractured the first knuckle of Lucroy’s finger, near the fingertip.

Dr. Don Sheridan, the same hand specialist who has worked on Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, inserted an inch-long pin to hold the bones in place to heal. At some point, that pin will be removed.

By Friday, Lucroy had accepted his situation. He was not so calm on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was pretty upset about it,” he said. “But after I started thinking about it, I realized that if it was going to happen, it’s better to happen now and get it over with. It’s the first major injury I’ve had, so it’s something I have to deal with personally.

“It’s a setback, yeah. But I don’t think it’s anything we can’t overcome.”


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Crew comfortable with catching depth

The Brewers just announced that catcher Jonathan Lucroy would need surgery tomorrow to install a pin into his fractured right pinkie finger and would be sidelined about four weeks. 

Considering that Opening Day is five weeks away, it begged the question of whether the team would look to acquire a catcher or stick with what they’ve got, a group that includes George Kottaras and Wil Nieves on the 40-man roster and non-roster invitee Mike Rivera. 
“We feel OK for now,” general manager Doug Melvin said. “There’s four weeks of Spring Training, so we’ll have to wait and see the healing process. It doesn’t appear that it should be more than 10 days into the season [before Lucroy is active]. …
“It’s better that it happened now than five days before the season, and then he misses a month of the season.”
Whether Lucroy begins the year on the disabled list remains to be seen. If he does, he could remain at Maryvale Baseball Park for a few games of extended Spring Training. 
The injury is to Lucroy’s throwing hand, so Melvin believes that he might be able to continue catching pitchers during his rehabilitation, which is important for a young catcher like Lucroy. He should also be able to remain in physical shape during his layoff. 
“We’ll wait and see what the process is,” Melvin said. “He’ll have to get at-bats somehow.” 
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Lucroy out with fractured finger

Brewers starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy suffered a fractured pinky finger on his throwing hand Wednesday as the injury bug bit Brewers camp in a big way. 

Lucroy suffered the injury during blocking drills during the team’s second full-squad workout and underwent x-rays, which revealed the fracture. He was to be further examined Wednesday afternoon by Dr. Don Sheridan, a hand specialist who has performed a series of surgeries on second baseman Rickie Weeks. 
After returning from his x-rays, Lucroy wore a splint on his right pinky. A Brewers spokesperson said he did not want to address reporters until after his visit with the specialist. 
“Unfortunately, these kinds of things happen in Spring Training,” said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, the suddenly busy head of the team’s medical program.
In other injury news Wednesday:
— Right-hander Zack Greinke’s live batting practice session was pushed back at least one day because of a bruised rib-cage, but it’s considered very minor, Ash said. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said he expects Greinke to throw on Thursday instead. 
“I plan on him throwing then,” Kranitz said. 
— Top pitching prospect Mark Rogers shut down his live BP session after feeling tightness in his twice surgically-repaired right shoulder. It’s something he’s been dealing with since the start of Spring Training. 
“In long toss I feel great, but letting it go, it’s a little it tight,” Rogers said. “I don’t want to push it now, and [the medical staff] said the same thing. Let’s err on the side of caution and stay healthy as opposed to having a setback. 
“I did a little extra work [on Tuesday] and I think that’s why it’s a little tight today. [Structurally], it’s all good, thank God. it’s not anywhere around where the surgery was and it’s a totally different feeling. I can throw 80 percent, but when I let it go it’s just a little bit tight.”
Because of his series of injuries, this is the first Spring Training since 2006 that Rogers is not on a restricted throwing program. 
“I’m lucky here because they know my history and let me take my time,” Rogers said. 
— Those setbacks came a few hours after the Brewers announced third baseman Mat Gamel would be held out of hitting drills for at least a week because of a rib-cage strain. For more on that, see the blog post from this morning.
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Brewers reportedly add catcher Nieves

The Brewers were on the verge of a Major League deal with free agent catcher Wil Nieves late Tuesday, according to 
Nieves, 33, spent the past three seasons with the Washington Nationals and was non-tendered last week. He batted .203 in 158 at-bats in 2010 and threw out 10 of 41 base-stealers. 
He’s played parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Padres, Yankees and Nationals and it was not immediately clear whether Nieves was the type of player that new Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday he would like to pair with 24-year-old starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy. 
Lucroy broke into the Majors in 2010 and Roenicke said he sees Lucroy playing 100-120 games next season. 
“The other guy, whoever his backup is going to be, is going to get some playing time,” Roenicke said in an afternoon meeting with reporters. 
Having a veteran behind Lucroy “will just help that young guy understand what it takes to be that total package catcher,” Roenicke said. “It’s not just blocking balls. It’s not just throwing out runners, but it is about game calling, and it is the communication that you have with a pitcher, and when he’s struggling and in between innings you walk over to talk to him about what’s going on and try to get him back on the right track.
“That takes a lot of experience. But when you have an experienced guy out there helping you with it, it makes it a lot easier.”
If the Nieves signing becomes official, the Brewers would have four catchers on the roster with Lucroy, Nieves, George Kottaras and Minor Leaguer Martin Maldonado. Kottaras is out of options and batted .203 with 10 home runs last season in 212 at-bats. He threw out four of 48 would-be basestealers, or 8.3 percent. 
In October, the Brewers also signed Mike Rivera to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League camp. Rivera was the Brewers’ backup catcher from 2006-09.
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Brewers looking at backup catchers

The Brewers are focused mostly on pitching at these Winter Meetings, but they’re also dabbling in other areas. 
Catcher appears to be one of them. Manager Ron Roenicke hinted that the Brewers were looking for a backup to 24-year-old catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who made strides as a rookie in 2010. 
“I think Doug is looking at a lot of different things, and I think any time you have a veteran catcher with a young guy, especially if it’s the right veteran, it’s really going to bring that young guy along,” Roenicke said. 
He offered Bengie Molina as an example of the type of player he likes. Molina happens to be a free agent and he was in Anaheim with Roenicke from 2000-05, but Roenicke didn’t specifically say that the Brewers were making any overtures. 
The Rockies are reportedly interested in Molina, who played for the Giants and Rangers last season.
Roenicke said he sees Lucroy catching 100-120 games next season.  
“The other guy, whoever his backup is going to be, is going to get some playing time,” Roenicke said. 
Having a veteran “will just help that young guy understand what it takes to be that total package catcher,” Roenicke said. “It’s not just blocking balls.  It’s not just throwing out runners, but it is about game calling and it is the communication that you have with a pitcher and when he’s struggling and in between innings you walk over to talk to him about what’s going on and try to get him back on the right track. 
“That takes a lot of experience. But when you have an experienced guy out there helping you with it, it makes it a lot easier.”
At the moment, Milwaukee has three catchers on the roster in Lucroy, George Kottaras and Minor Leaguer Martin Maldonado. Kottaras is out of options and batted .203 with 10 home runs last season in 212 at-bats. He threw out four of 48 would-be base stealers, or 8.3 percent.
The Brewers also are looking at utility men. General manager Doug Melvin said the club at some point had reached out the agent for Delwyn Young, who became a free agent Nov. 29 after he was designated for assignment by the Pirates. Assistant GM Gord Ash said the Brewers have not heard back from agent Matt Colleran. 
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was first to report the Brewers’ connection to Young. It’s an interesting one; In July 2009, Young called Ryan Braun a coward after a series of plunkings in a Brewers-Pirates game at PNC Park, prompting Fielder to respond, “Who the [heck] is Delwyn Young?” 
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