Results tagged ‘ Mitch Stetter ’
Who knew that head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger would play such an important role in the Brewers’ assembling their 2011 bullpen?
LaTroy Hawkins is hurt, after all.
On second thought, Manny Parra will enjoy a day off with the rest of his Brewers teammates on Wednesday.
Lefty Randy Wolf and catcher Gregg Zaun headed over to the Minor League fields a few moments ago to take part in an intrasquad game designed to keep Wolf on track for the start of the season. The team opted to give the “A” game assignment to Chris Narveson, who is still bidding for his spot in the rotation.
Left Fielder Ryan Braun (ribs) and infielder Craig Counsell (right knee) return to the “A” game lineup today, when the Brewers host the Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park.
“I’m back,” Braun declared after meeting with manager Ken Macha
Macha set his lineup just before the clubhouse was closed to reporters, and here it is:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Corey Hart RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Mike Cameron CF
Bill Hall 3B
Craig Counsell SS
Mike Rivera C
Manny Parra LHP
Relievers Carlos Villanueva and Mitch Stetter are scheduled to follow Parra, so Stetter apparently will not head to Minor League camp to face a series of left-handed hitters, after all.
In news this morning, general manager Doug Melvin infomed pitchers Lindsay Gulin and Wes Littleton and catcher Carlos Corporan this morning that they will not make the Opening Day roster. All three players will travel with the Brewers to Los Angeles for a pair of exhibitions against the Dodgers, and will also participate in team workouts in San Francisco on April 5 and 6 before reporting to Triple-A Nashville.
I had just left Maryvale Baseball Park for the day when Brewers spokesman Mike Vassallo texted a shocker: Eric Gagne is re-joining the Brewers.
He won’t exactly make the $10 million he pocketed last season, and general manager Doug Melvin made it clear Gagne received no guarantees he’ll get a job. Gagne agreed to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to big league camp and an out clause that will allow him back to free agency if he doesn’t get a 40-man roster spot before the end of Spring Training.
“He’s got to win a job,” Melvin said. “He came to me at the end of the season and told me he felt he didn’t earn his [salary], that he didn’t pitch the way he wanted to pitch for what he was being paid. He said he felt indebted to us to come back in and give it another shot for us.
“I didn’t expect that, and I respect the fact that he stood up and said, ‘I didn’t pitch well.’ He came to me and said, ‘I’m sorry I disappointed you.’ But he pitched well at the end of the year and that’s what counted, so I give him a lot of credit for that.”
Gagne joins a crowded bullpen. Trevor Hoffman is the closer and Carlos Villanueva, David Riske and Seth McClung and at least one left-hander from Mitch Stetter or R.J. Swindle are ticketed for what will probably be a seven-man relief corps. Assuming only one lefty makes the cut, it would leave only two more spots for a field of competitors led by 40-man roster members Todd Coffey, Jorge Julio, Mark DiFelice and Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan.
Melvin said Gagne’s decision to sign had nothing to do with the team’s decision to cancel a trip by top pro scout Dick Groch to see free agent reliever Chad Cordero throw in California on Wednesday. Cordero’s camp informed clubs that he will only be throwing at about 80 percent of total effort, so the Brewers instead will send their local scouts.
The Brewers are not interested in former St. Louis reliever Jason Isringhausen, another right-handed former closer who, like Gagne, could be open to a Minor League deal. So it appears that the team feels it has enough competitors already in camp to put together a quality bullpen.
Some random items that did not find a home in news stories over the past few days:
- Prince Fielder, Craig Counsell and Hernan Iribarren reported to camp on Monday, leaving only three players absent ahead of Tuesday’s report date for position players: Mike Cameron, Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel. All three are expected to arrive on time.
Cameron is a veteran so it’s not surprising to see him report on time instead of early, but it’s a bit surprising that Escobar and Gamel, two of Milwaukee’s top prospects, have yet to show. Escobar planned to arrive Monday but he missed a flight out of Venezuela, and Gamel stayed back in Florida because he’s about to become a dad for the first time.
- Speaking of Escobar, assistant general manager Gord Ash said the shortstop prospect was not kicked off his winter ball team, refuting a rumor that has circulated the Internet during the offseason.
- Fielder was in high spirits, and he does appear to have slimmed down over the winter. You can see the change in his face.
- The Brewers have already scheduled a “B” game for the March 10 off-day, and will play the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz. at 9:30 a.m. that day. The team is also working to schedule a “B” game for the March 4 off-day, but has not found any takers.
Those games are intended mostly to keep Brewers pitchers on schedule. All of the regular offensive players will get that day off.
- Manager Ken Macha intends to play left fielder Ryan Braun extensively in early Cactus League games so he is ready for the World Baseball Classic. While players like Fielder get their one or two at-bats and call it a day, Braun could play some full games, Macha said.
- Camp was lively on Monday, when the pitchers were divided into teams for a bunting competition. Mitch Stetter is a surprisingly good bunter and so is Trevor Hoffman, though it’s not all that surprising since Hoffman is a former shortstop. Carlos Villanueva delivered the best bunt, landing the baseball within a small target along a virtual third base line.
On a side note, Villanueva is batting right-handed again. He tinkered as a lefty last season, but since he’s now permanently in the bullpen, he figured it was best to keep things sinple.
- General manager Doug Melvin on catching prospect Jonathan Lucroy: “That kid is going to be a player. He reminds me a little of [former A’s catcher] Terry Steinbach.”