Results tagged ‘ Todd Coffey ’

Crew officials mulling tender date

After committing more than $37 million on free agents Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins at the Winter Meetings, the Brewers could cap the week with some cost savings. 

Club officials have until 10:59 p.m. CT to tender contracts to unsigned players for 2010 or let them join the pool of free agents. Of particular interest are the seven players who would be arbitration-eligible if they are offered a contract, and thus likely to see their salaries jump.

That list is made up of starter Dave Bush ($4 million salary last season), relievers Todd Coffey ($800,002), Seth McClung ($1.6625 million) and Carlos Villanueva ($447,000), outfielders Jody Gerut ($1.775 million), Carlos Gomez ($437,500) and Corey Hart ($3.25 million) and catcher Mike Rivera ($415,000).

Of that group, Coffey, Villanueva, Gomez and Hart are all but guaranteed tenders and Bush and Gerut fall into the “likely” category. Brewers officials were meeting Friday to discuss the entire group.

McClung in particular is waiting to learn his fate. The right-hander posted a 4.94 ERA in 41 games, including two starts, and missed nearly two months with a sprained right elbow. He returned for three appearances before the end of the season, but it was a disappointing follow-up to McClung’s fine 2008 season in which he made 25 relief appearances and 12 starts and was so valuable late in the year during the Brewers’ postseason push.

The numbers game works against McClung in Milwaukee’s bullpen. Trevor Hoffman is back as the closer, and Coffey and Hawkins (assuming he passes his physical next week) are ticketed for set-up roles. The Brewers are close to re-signing Claudio Vargas, who was solid in the second half of 2009 and, like McClung, has history as a starter. So does Villanueva, who figures to be a lower-cost option than McClung. The Brewers also have left-hander Mitch Stetter back and will take a look in Spring Training at Rule 5 pick Chuck Lofgren, another lefty.

Rivera ($415,000 salary last season) is also part of a crowded field. The team last week signed veteran catcher Gregg Zaun and assured him he’ll be the regular starter behind the plate, and also added George Kottaras via the waiver wire on Nov. 18. Catching prospects Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy will be in camp with a chance to win a job, and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has mentioned LuCroy as a candidate to make the roster.

In 41 games as Jason Kendall’s backup last season, Rivera batted .228 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. He’s been the Brewers’ backup catcher in each of the past four seasons.

Teams rarely nontender so-called “zero-to-three” players who don’t have enough service time to qualify for arbitration, but they are likely to cut loose reliever Mark DiFelice on Saturday to free his 40-man roster spot. DiFelice underwent shoulder surgery last week and expects to be sidelined for the 2010 season. The Brewers could re-sign him to a Minor League contract.

The Brewers currently have 39 players on the 40-man roster so they need DiFelice’s roster spot for Wolf and Hawkins, who are scheduled for physical exams next week to finalize their contracts.

After all 30 teams make their decisions on Saturday, the Brewers will scour the list for new free agents of interest and will probably be particularly interested in starting pitchers and backup outfielders. One pitcher to keep an eye on is Kevin Correia, who might be non-tendered by the Padres after earning $1.1 million with incentives in 2009.

The Brewers showed interest in Correia last winter before he signed a Minor League deal with the Padres and tried to acquire him again in July. The key would be Correia’s asking price after his solid year.

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List of arbitration-eligible players

The Major League Baseball Players Association released a list last night of the 210 players potentially eligible for arbitration this winter. We already knew the eight eligible Brewers — Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Jody Gerut, Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, Seth McClung, Mike Rivera (first time eligible), Carlos Villanueva (first time eligible) and Rickie Weeks — but I thought it may be helpful to pass along the entire list. Many of these players will become free agents after the Dec. 12 nontender deadline.

The Brewers will face a couple of decisions at that deadline. Do they bring back McClung ($1.6625 million salary in 2009), the versatile right-hander who worked his way back from an elbow injury at the end of last season? Will Gerut ($1.775 million) return based on his strong finish to the 2009 season? If the Brewers do convince free agent catcher Jason Kendall to return at a discount, will they give the backup job to Jonathan Lucroy or bring back Rivera?

We will get into those decisions at a later date. For now, here is the MLBPA list:

List of players potentially eligible for 2010 Salary Arbitration

PLAYER    SERVICE TIME    TEAM    POSITION
1 Aardsma, David 3.082 SEA RP
2 Accardo, Jeremy 3.171 TOR RP
3 Adams, Mike 3.019 SD RP
4 Albers, Matt 2.141 BAL RP
5 Amezaga, Alfredo 5.097 FLA OF
6 Anderson, Brian N. 3.053 BOS OF
7 Atkins, Garrett 5.072 COL 3B
8 Aybar, Erick 3.086 LAA SS
9 Baker, Jeff 3.049 CHC 2B
10 Bale, John R. 4.016 KC RP
11 Balfour, Grant 5.099 TB RP
12 Bannister, Brian 3.158 KC SP
13 Barmes, Clint 4.122 COL 2B
14 Bartlett, Jason 4.086 TB SS
15 Bautista, Jose A. 4.165 TOR OF
16 Bell, Heath 4.099 SD RP
17 Bennett, Jeff 3.012 TB RP
18 Bergmann, Jay 3.064 WAS RP
19 Billingsley, Chad 3.110 LAD SP
20 Blanton, Joe 5.016 PHI SP
21 Bonser, Boof 3.102 MIN RP
22 Bourn, Michael 3.028 HOU OF
23 Boyer, Blaine 3.122 ARI RP
24 Broxton, Jonathan 4.020 LAD RP
25 Bruney, Brian 4.164 NYY RP
26 Bruntlett, Eric 5.102 PHI 2B
27 Buchholz, Taylor 3.140 COL RP
28 Buck, John 5.101 KC C
29 Burnett, Sean 3.085 WAS RP
30 Burton, Jared 2.165 CIN RP
31 Bush, David 5.052 MIL SP
32 Byrdak, Tim 4.150 HOU RP
33 Cabrera, Fernando 3.104 BOS RP
34 Cabrera, Melky 3.148 NYY OF
35 Camp, Shawn 4.170 TOR RP
36 Cantu, Jorge 5.036 FLA 1B
37 Capps, Matt 4.017 PIT RP
38 Carrasco, D.J. 3.141 CWS RP
39 Casilla, Santiago 3.012 OAK RP
40 Cedeno, Ronny 4.029 PIT SS
41 Chavez, Raul A. 5.074 TOR C
42 Choate, Randy 5.073 TB RP
43 Church, Ryan 4.152 ATL OF
44 Coffey, Todd 4.024 MIL RP
45 Colon, Roman 3.133 KC RP
46 Condrey, Clay 4.012 PHI RP
47 Cormier, Lance 4.154 TB RP
48 Correia, Kevin 5.027 SD SP
49 Cotts, Neal 4.081 CHC RP
50 Crain, Jesse 5.039 MIN RP
51 Cust, Jack 4.002 OAK DH
52 Danks, John 3.000 CWS SP
53 Davies, Kyle 4.012 KC SP
54 Davis, Rajai 2.167 OAK OF
55 de la Rosa, Jorge 5.015 COL SP
56 Delcarmen, Manny 3.133 BOS RP
57 Devine, Joe 2.171 OAK RP
58 Diaz, Matt 4.157 ATL OF
59 Dinardo, Lenny 3.157 KC RP
60 Drew, Stephen 3.079 ARI SS
61 Duke, Zach 4.094 PIT SP
62 Durbin, Chad 5.102 PHI RP
63 Ethier, Andre 3.153 LAD OF
64 Feldman, Scott 3.091 TEX SP
65 Feliciano, Pedro 5.059 NYM RP
66 Flores, Jesus 2.158 WAS C
67 Fontenot, Mike 2.139 CHC 3B
68 Francisco, Frank 5.053 TEX RP
69 Francoeur, Jeff 4.088 NYM OF
70 Frasor, Jason 5.134 TOR RP
71 Garko, Ryan 3.091 SF 1B
72 Garza, Matt 2.149 TB SP
73 Gaudin, Chad 4.163 NYY SP
74 German, Esteban 4.069 TEX 2B
75 Gerut, Jody 5.096 MIL OF
76 Gomes, Jonny 4.097 CIN OF
77 Gomez, Carlos 2.141 MIL OF
78 Gordon, Alex 2.162 KC 3B
79 Gorzelanny, Tom 2.160 CHC RP
80 Green, Sean 3.125 NYM RP
81 Grilli, Jason 4.118 TEX RP
82 Gross, Gabe 4.114 TB OF
83 Guerrier, Matt 5.056 MIN RP
84 Guthrie, Jeremy 3.130 BAL SP
85 Gutierrez, Franklin 3.080 SEA OF
86 Guzman, Angel 3.095 CHC RP
87 Hairston, Scott 4.102 OAK OF
88 Hamilton, Josh 3.000 TEX OF
89 Hammel, Jason 2.153 COL SP
90 Hardy, J.J. 4.164 MIN SS
91 Harris, Brendan 3.112 MIN SS
92 Hart, Corey 4.038 MIL OF
93 Heilman, Aaron 5.123 CHC RP
94 Hermida, Jeremy 4.033 BOS OF
95 Hernandez, Felix 4.060 SEA SP
96 Hill, Koyie 3.006 CHC C
97 Howell, J.P. 3.007 TB RP
98 Iannetta, Chris 3.029 COL C
99 Izturis, Maicer 5.038 LAA 2B
100 Jackson, Conor 4.067 ARI OF
101 Jackson, Edwin 4.070 DET SP
102 Jacobs, Mike 4.047 KC DH
103 Janssen, Casey 3.063 TOR RP
104 Jenks, Bobby 4.090 CWS RP
105 Johnson, Josh 4.026 FLA SP
106 Johnson, Kelly 4.127 ATL 2B
107 Karstens, Jeff 2.144 PIT SP
108 Kemp, Matt 3.049 LAD OF
109 Kendrick, Howie 3.091 LAA 2B
110 Kensing, Logan 4.035 WAS RP
111 Keppinger, Jeff 3.052 HOU 3B
112 Kotchman, Casey 4.144 BOS 1B
113 Kouzmanoff, Kevin 3.030 SD 3B
114 Kuo, Hong-Chih 3.114 LAD RP
115 Laird, Gerald 5.077 DET C
116 Langerhans, Ryan 4.062 SEA OF
117 League, Brandon 3.145 TOR RP
118 Lincecum, Tim 2.148 SF SP
119 Lindstrom, Matthew 3.000 FLA RP
120 Liriano, Francisco 3.104 MIN SP
121 Logan, Boone 3.002 ATL RP
122 Loney, James 3.012 LAD 1B
123 Lowe, Mark 3.087 SEA RP
124 Ludwick, Ryan 4.109 STL OF
125 MacDougal, Mike 5.143 WAS RP
126 Maine, John 4.013 NYM SP
127 Marcum, Shaun 3.128 TOR SP
128 Marmol, Carlos 3.084 CHC RP
129 Marshall, Sean 3.088 CHC RP
130 Martin, Russell 3.150 LAD C
131 Masset, Nick 2.146 CIN RP
132 Mathis, Jeff 3.012 LAA C
133 McCarthy, Brandon 4.055 TEX SP
134 McClung, Seth 5.111 MIL RP
135 McGowan, Dustin 3.113 TOR SP
136 Medders, Brandon 3.074 SF RP
137 Meredith, Cla 3.107 BAL RP
138 Miller, Justin 5.070 SF RP
139 Miner, Zach 3.078 DET RP
140 Mitre, Sergio 4.132 NYY SP
141 Montero, Miguel 3.031 ARI C
142 Moylan, Peter 3.061 ATL RP
143 Murton, Matt 3.004 COL OF
144 Napoli, Mike 3.151 LAA C
145 Navarro, Dioner 4.103 TB C
146 Neshek, Pat 3.087 MIN RP
147 Nieves, Wil 3.092 WAS C
148 Nippert, Dustin 2.140 TEX RP
149 Nix, Laynce 4.070 CIN OF
150 Nolasco, Ricky 3.142 FLA SP
151 Nunez, Leo 3.108 FLA RP
152 Ojeda, Augie 4.169 ARI SS
153 Okajima, Hideki 3.000 BOS RP
154 Olsen, Scott 4.101 WAS SP
155 Orr, Pete 3.096 WAS 2B
156 Pagan, Angel 3.144 NYM OF
157 Papelbon, Jon 4.064 BOS RP
158 Paulino, Ronny 3.112 FLA C
159 Pena, Tony 3.076 CWS RP
160 Pence, Hunter 2.156 HOU OF
161 Perez, Rafael 2.157 CLE RP
162 Pinto, Renyel 3.083 FLA RP
163 Qualls, Chad 5.058 ARI RP
164 Quentin, Carlos 3.065 CWS OF
165 Quintero, Humberto 3.141 HOU C
166 Ramirez, Ramon 3.113 BOS RP
167 Ray, Chris 4.098 BAL RP
168 Redding, Tim 5.167 NYM RP
169 Reed, Jeremy 4.016 NYM OF
170 Repko, Jason 3.067 LAD OF
171 Reyes, Anthony 3.027 CLE SP
172 Rivera, Mike 3.081 MIL C
173 Rivera, Saul 3.056 WAS RP
174 Rodriguez, Wandy 4.105 HOU SP
175 Ross, Cody 4.058 FLA OF
176 Ruiz, Carlos 3.069 PHI C
177 Sampson, Chris 3.012 HOU RP
178 Sanchez, Anibal 3.099 FLA SP
179 Sanchez, Jonathan 3.071 SF SP
180 Santiago, Ramon 5.095 DET SS
181 Saunders, Joe 3.013 LAA SP
182 Schumaker, Skip 3.051 STL 2B
183 Scott, Luke 3.144 BAL DH
184 Seay, Bobby 5.118 DET RP
185 Sherrill, George 4.147 LAD RP
186 Shoppach, Kelly 4.021 CLE C
187 Spilborghs, Ryan 3.072 COL OF
188 Street, Huston 5.000 COL RP
189 Sullivan, Cory 4.010 NYM OF
190 Tallet, Brian 4.146 TOR SP
191 Teahen, Mark 4.155 CWS 3B
192 Tejeda, Rob 3.102 KC RP
193 Th
eriot, Ryan 3.118 CHC SS
194 Uggla, Dan 4.000 FLA 2B
195 Upton, B.J. 3.126 TB OF
196 Veras, Jose 3.014 CLE RP
197 Verlander, Justin 4.002 DET SP
198 Victorino, Shane 4.092 PHI OF
199 Villanueva, Carlos 3.053 MIL RP
200 Waechter, Doug 4.087 KC RP
201 Wang, Chien-Ming 4.159 NYY SP
202 Weaver, Jered 3.129 LAA SP
203 Weeks, Rickie 4.131 MIL 2B
204 Willingham, Josh 4.123 WAS OF
205 Willits, Reggie 3.000 LAA OF
206 Wilson, Brian 2.169 SF RP
207 Wilson, C.J. 4.055 TEX RP
208 Wuertz, Michael 4.139 OAK RP
209 Young, Delmon 3.034 MIN OF
210 Zumaya, Joel 4.000 DET RP

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The Crew's ultimate warrior finds his tune

All that was missing from Todd Coffey’s entrance was the right musical accompaniment. It appears he’s found it.
Coffey Warrior copy.jpg
Some fans of baseball and professional wrestling have noticed that Coffey made a pair of entrances this week to the same heavy metal riff that used to accompany the Ultimate Warrior, who was known for his all-out race from the smoke-filled arena tunnel to the ring. Coffey doesn’t have any dry ice out in the bullpen, but he makes a similar entrance, sprinting all-out from the bullpen to the mound.

A blogger wisely suggested the connection a month ago, but the idea came from Brewers PR director and walking encyclopedia of pro wrestling Mike Vassallo. Vassallo suggested the song to Coffey and loaded it onto his iPod. 

“I took it home and gave it a listen and it was like, ‘Yeah, this fits,'” Coffey said. “There’s no words and it’s hard, to the point. I said, “This is me. It’s perfect.'”

Vassallo, by the way, also suggested Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” for Jorge Julio. But he can’t take credit for Trevor Hoffman’s use of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells,” though that one also came from a front office. As the story goes, a Padres official, inspired by the film “Major League,” suggested that Hoffman adpot a signature song. After “Hells Bells” debuted on July 25, 1998, it stuck.

Lights out at Miller Park

Please pardon the Brewers’ technical difficulties. 

The Brewers and Cubs were already well past the three-hour mark on Saturday night and Milwaukee reliever Todd Coffey was about to throw his first pitch with a runner at second base and two outs in the eighth inning when most of the lights along the left-field line at Miller Park suddenly went dark. The right-field lights followed shortly thereafter, leaving players and 44,428 fans in near-darkness.

Players left the field — the Brewers were clinging to a 9-5 lead but the Cubs had already scored three runs in the inning — while the in-house organist got to work. A Brewers spokesperson said the problem had been identified and could be fixed in 10-15 minutes.

By 9:30 p.m. CT, about 13 minutes after the outage, the lights began to warm up again.

The Brewers had a similar problem in June 2001, their first year at Miller Park. A Brewers-Royals game was suspended after the lights went out after a scoreless first inning, and the teams resumed play the following day with an unofficial doubleheader.

Coffey and donuts

With his two scoreless outings over the weekend in New York, Todd Coffey set a Brewers record.

He hasn’t allowed a run in his first 16 games as a Brewer, breaking the record set by former closer Francisco Cordero during the second half of the 2006 season. Coffey’s 16 streak includes nine appearances last September after the Brewers claimed him off waivers from the Reds, plus seven games this year.

He’s two innings away from setting another Brewers record for scoreless innings to begin a Brewers tenure. Here is that list:

Earl Stephenson:  18 2/3 innings (April 18-June 1, 1972)
Ray Newman:  18 innings (June 17, 1972 – April 29, 1973)
Coffey: 17 innings (Sept. 13, 2008 – present)

Hoffman throws 40 pitches

I’m 400 feet away, up in the press box, but if the high-five between Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel was any indication, Hoffman’s first mound session in more than a month went well.

I counted an even 40 pitches over 13 minutes, and Hoffman threw his full assortment. Assuming that went well, he’ll be off Thursday and could either throw another bullpen or perhaps a live batting practice session on Friday in New York. At some point if he continues making progress, Hoffman will be sent out on a MInor League rehabilitation assignment.

The Brewers would love to have him back. Pitching in a non-save situation Tuesday night, fill-in closer Carlos Villanueva surrendered three runs on four hits. To be fair, two of the hits took tough hops near third base, including one that jumped up and hit Bill Hall in the left collarbone. Still, Villanueva allowed a 3-1 Reds lead to grow to 6-1, and manager Ken Macha hedged just a bit when he was asked whether Villanueva’s role was up in the air.

“We’ll have to see how he’s feeling [Wednesday],” Macha said. “Certainly, [Todd] Coffey and [Seth] McClung and [Mark] DiFelice have king of pitched a little better than he has right now. We’ll see how he’s feeling.”

Wrapping a bow on Spring Training

Was Brad Nelson trying to make one final bid for the Opening Day roster with his go-ahead, three run home run in Saturday’s Spring Training finale?

“Truthfully, honestly, yeah!” a wide-smiling Nelson said after the Brewers capped their exhibition season with a 7-4 win at Dodger Stadium. “When you haven’t heard anything, why not?”

He finally did hear after the game that he had cracked Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster. It was an emotional moment for a player drafted in 2001 who had climbed to the top of the Brewers’ prospect chart, fallen back down and now has climbed back to the big leagues.

General manager Doug Melvin congratulated other players in person Saturday night including outfielder Chris Duffy, whose contract will be purchased from Triple-A Nashville on Sunday to complete the 25-man roster. Also making the cut, as expected, was infielder Casey McGehee, who will switch from uniform No. 52 to No. 14 for the regular season.

The Brewers finished the spring slate with a record of 22-10-3, including 16-3-1 over their final 20 games, 10-1 over their final 11 and 4-0 to end the ledger. They once again came from behind on Saturday after relievers Todd Coffey and David Riske combined to throw 64 pitches over the first two innings as the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead. Seth McClung threw 30 more pitches in the third inning and Jorge Julio threw 24 pitches in the fourth.

Dave Bush, appearing in relief to tune up for a probable inning of work on Opening Day (his first start does not come until April 11) finally settled things down in the fifth inning with a nine-pitch, seven-strike frame.

“I wanted to encourage everybody to throw their off-speed pitches, their change-ups,” manager Ken Macha said. “[Coffey] didn’t throw any until the end. Riske threw 13 straight fastballs [in one stretch]. … The other guys all mixed their pitches.”

The Brewers rallied with three runs in the seventh inning and four more in the ninth. Craig Counsell hit a tying RBI single before Nelson crushed a three-run homer to straightaway center field.

Gwynn still out; Gamel, Coffey to head out

Brewers outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. remains sidelined in camp and Mat Gamel and Todd Coffey are about to leave.

Gwynn continues to feel some pain in his right shoulder and will be limited from throwing until he’s completely pain-free. Manager Ken Macha said there was “some concern” that Gwynn is not improving more quickly, but that he was showing some signs of improvement. Gwynn will see the doctor again on Thursday.

Gamel and Coffey, meanwhile, were set to take a few days off to attend births back home. Coffey’s wife, Nikki, is to give birth to the couple’s third child and first son on Friday, the same day Gamel’s fiancee was to deliver the couple’s first child.

Let the games begin

The main stadium is finally filled with ballplayers today for an intrasquad game that precedes Wednesday’s Cactus League opener. Some particulars about those games, starting with Wednesday’s tilt against the A’s:

- Pitchers on the list to throw Wednesday include starter Jeff Suppan, who will throw two innings or 30 pitches, followed by Dave Bush, who will work an inning in advance of his first start on Sunday. Trevor Hoffman is scheduled for his unofficial Brewers debut, followed by Eddie Morlan, Lindsay Gulin, Nick Green, Todd Coffey and Jorge Julio.

- Macha did not unveil his lineup in advance, but the Brewers’ regular starting position players will be at their spots with the exception of third baseman Bill Hall, who is cautiously working back from a partially torn calf muscle. Mike Lamb will likely start at third on Wednesday.

- A’s skipper Bob Geren called Macha on Monday to see if the Brewers were interested in employing the designated hitter. Macha declined, saying he wanted his pitchers to practice bunting.

- As for Tuesday’s intrasquad game, it’s Eddie’s Elite, managed by first base coach Ed Sedar, against Fischer’s Fanatistics, the home team managed by third base coach Brad Fischer. The game was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. CT, and position players will bat once or twice before a Minor Leaguer takes over. 

Here are the starting lineups:

Eddie’s Elite
1. Corey Hart  RF
2. Craig Counsell  2B
3. Ryan Braun  LF
4. Prince Fielder  1B
5. Mike Rivera  C
6. Mat Gamel  DH
7. Vinny Rottino  3B
8. Alcides Escobar  SS
9. Chris Duffy  CF
Scheduled pitchers: LHP Chase Wright, RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Chris Narveson and LHP R.J. Swindle

Fischer’s Fantastics
1. Rickie Weeks  2B
2. Jason Kendall  C
3. Mike Cameron  CF
4. J.J. Hardy  SS
5. Trot Nixon  LF
6. Brad Nelson  RF
7. Casey McGehee  3B
8. Mike Lamb  1B
9. Tony Gwynn, Jr.  DH
Scheduled pitchers: RHP Braden Looper, RHP Mark
DiFelice, LHP Sam Narron and RHP Omar Aguilar

UPDATE at 1:45 p.m. CT:  It was nine up, nine down for Brewers pitchers before Hardy began 2009 the way he ended 2008. Hardy hit an 0-and-1 pitch from Dillard for a home run to left-center field leading off the bottom of the second inning. It’s 1-0, Fantastics.

And the regulars are already hitting the showers. Hart, Counsell, Braun, Weeks, Kendall, Cameron, Fielder and Rivera all left the game after one at-bat, making way for Minor Leaguers on loan from the other half of the complex.

UPDATE at 2:14 p.m. CT: With so many defensive changes in this game, it looks like Lamb has the MVP award locked up. Lamb made a diving stop at first base in the top of the second inning and shoveled to DiFelice for a tough out against Mat Gamel, then drove in the Fantastics’ second run in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly. That made it 2-0, but Scott Thorman got one run back in the top of the third inning with an RBI single.

UPDATE at 2:58 p.m. CT: Didn’t get this in before we had to meet Macha on the field, but 2-1 was the final score, with Lamb’s sacrifice fly representing the winning run for Fischer’s Fantastics. Time of game was 55 minutes, prompting calls for four-inning games throughout Spring Training. 
 

Gagne wants to "pay back" Brewers

Here are some quotes from new Brewer Eric Gagne, who returned to Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday as a Minor Leaguer on a mission:

“I let the team and the organization down,” said Gagne, who inked a Minor League deal with the Brewers and reported to big league camp just in time for a physical exam and Milwaukee’s first full-squad workout. “The one thing is that it’s easy to succeed, it’s hard to fail. …

“They paid me a lot of money last year and I didn’t really deliver. This is a little bit of payback.”

On being a $10 million bust last season:  “You look at your paycheck every two weeks and it’s like, ‘Man, that’s crazy what I get paid for,’ and you put pressure on yourself,” Gagne said. “I felt bad about it. I want to pitch good. I was happy with the season because we made the playoffs, but I was disappointed because I knew [general manager Doug Melvin] took a chance on me last year, he stuck his neck out. … He gets judged on all his moves, [especially] the big moves, and it didn’t work out with me.”

On whether he turned down Major League offers from other teams to wait for a better deal that never came:  “I’m not going to talk about that one,” Gagne said. “Yes and no. It was a weird offseason, let’s put it that way.”

He added: “I could have retired, but I’m not done.”

As I wrote yesterday and again this morning, Gagne has no assurances about a job and has tough competition from pitchers already on the 40-man roster. Barring injuries, I see two open spots and five 40-man guys with a shot: Jorge Julio, Todd Coffey, Eddie Morlan, Mark DiFelice and Tim Dillard.

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