Results tagged ‘ Wil Nieves ’

Opportunity knocks for catchers

With No. 1 catcher Jonathan Lucroy expected to spend the next month recovering from surgery for a fractured pinkie, there exists the real possibility that either George Kottaras or Wil Nieves, or perhaps Mike Rivera, will make his first-ever Opening Day start. None of those players were celebrating that possibility on Thursday morning. 

“It’s always sad to see one of your teammates getting hurt,” said Nieves, who joined the Brewers as a free agent in December. “I don’t see George or Lucroy or the other guys as competition, I see them as teammates.”
Said Kottaras: “I’m just going to go out and do what I needed to do in the first place. I’m going to try to get better, and that was the whole goal coming in.”
The catchers were working on fielding throws from the outfield on Wednesday morning when a ball skipped on the hard infield and fractured his right pinkie finger. Lucroy finished the drill, but later underwent x-rays that revealed the broken bone. 
“The grass was a little bit fast and the ball was skipping hard,” Nieves said. “You feel bad for him, but I told him, ‘You’re going to be fine.’ I know he was excited for this season, and he still should be excited. If he misses a couple of games, it’s not going to be a big deal. He’s a strong kid.”
Lucroy is expected to miss about four weeks, putting him on track to be healed about a week before the Brewers’ March 31 opener in Cincinnati. But Lucroy might have to stay back in extended Spring Training to get back into hitting and throwing shape.
The Brewers will make those determinations deeper into Lucroy’s rehabilitation. 
Nieves has been a part of five Opening Day rosters — two with the Yankees and three with the Nationals — but has never started. In Washington, the reserves lined up along the foul lines while the starters ran in from the outfield on a red carpet, with fireworks exploding overhead. 
Rivera was on the Opening Day roster in 2008 and 2009. Kottaras was on Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster last year. 
“I feel one step ahead because I know some of the guys and I’m so used to catching them in the past,” Kottaras said. “When I came in last year I didn’t know anybody, their tendencies and so forth. having that year’s experience with the guys, I feel more comfortable.”
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Nieves to undergo physical Friday

The Brewers have a deal in place for catcher Wil Nieves but it won’t be finalized until Friday, when he is scheduled to undergo a morning physical exam in Milwaukee. If he passes, Nieves will sign a one-year, non-guaranteed contract and will compete with George Kottaras and perhaps Martin Maldonado to back-up regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy. 

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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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