Brewers preview, 2011: Let the games begin
CINCINNATI -- Are you ready for some baseball?
Thick, heavy snowflakes fell on the field at Great American Ballpark Wednesday afternoon as the Brewers worked out in advance of the 2011 season opener. The team spent a brief amount of time out on the field before retreating to the clubhouse to work in the batting cages and study video.
Despite the odd weather, Roenicke went ahead with the team's scheduled workout.
"It's important to get out on the field, because we just came from Arizona and 85-degree weather," Roenicke said.
The forecast today calls for partly sunny skies with a high of about 50 degrees, so there is little concern about any delays to the scheduled 1:10 p.m. (CDT) first pitch.
The roster will look significantly different today when the Brewers meet the defending National League Central champion Reds. Right fielder Corey Hart and catcher Jonathan Lucroy were both placed on the disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to March 22. Hart and Lucroy join relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Manny Parra and starter Zack Greinke on the DL.
Those injuries, especially Greinke's, have dampened some of the enthusiasm surrounding the start of the 2011 season.
Manager Ron Roenicke Wednesday admitted that Greinke's injury, suffered during a pick-up basketball game before the start of Spring Training, could keep the former Cy Young Award winner out longer than anyone expected.
Greinke has been playing catch to build up strength but has yet to begin throwing off a mound. Once he does, he will likely need several rehabilitation starts to build up enough stamina in his arm after being sidelined for most of Spring Training.
"It may be a little longer than I thought it would be," Roenicke said. "I thought he'd be throwing awhile ago, but he still felt it ... We're going to be careful with him; we don't want to rush him."
With Greinke unavailable, right-hander Yovani Gallardo will make his second consecutive Opening Day start. Originally, Gallardo was slotted fourth in the rotation, behind Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf, which would have put him in line to pitch the home opener Monday against Atlanta.
In general, injuries defined the spring. All nine projected starters missed at least some portion of a game at one point or another.
Still, the Brewers broke camp with a 19-11 record in Cactus League play -- the third-best mark in the National League. Rarely, though, does a Spring Training record foretell regular-season success.
NOTES: Marcum threw a side session Wednesday. He's scheduled to make his first start Saturday against Cincinnati lefty Travis Wood ... C Mike Rivera and RHP Mark DiFelice were assigned to the Brewers' minor league camp ... OF Brandon Boggs accepted an outright assignment to Class AAA Nashville ... Fourteen minor league players were released Wednesday, including former supplemental first-round draft pick, Evan Fredrickson ... Utility man Erick Almonte and outfielder Jeremy Reed had their contracts purchased from Class AAA Nashville and will begin the season on the 25-man roster.
2011 Opening Day roster
59 -- John Axford (RHP)
21 -- Zack Braddock (LHP)
49 -- Yovani Gallardo (RHP)
54 -- Sean Green (RHP)
51 -- Brandon Kintzler (RHP)
50 -- Kameron Loe (RHP)
18 -- Shaun Marcum (RHP)
52 -- Sergio Mitre (RHP)
38 -- Chris Narveson (LHP)
40 -- Takashi Saito (RHP)
57 -- Mitch Steter (LHP)
43 -- Randy Wolf (LHP)
16 -- George Kottaras
33 -- Wil Nieves
22 -- Erick Almonte
3 -- Yuniesky Betancourt
30 -- Craig Counsell
28 -- Prince Fielder
14 -- Casey McGehee
23 -- Rickie Weeks
8 -- Ryan Braun
27 -- Carlos Gomez
25 -- Mark Kotsay
2 -- Nyjer Morgan
7 -- Jeremy Reed
10 -- Ron Roenicke, Manager
35 -- Garth Iorg, First Base Coach
39 -- Rick Kranitz, Pitching Coach
53 -- Stan Kyles, Bullpen Coach
26 -- Jerry Narron, Bench Coach
6 -- Ed Sedar, Third Base Coach
31 -- John Shelby, Outfield Coach
29 -- Dale Sveum, Hitting Coach
Disabled list (5)
13 -- Zack Greinke (RHP)
32 -- LaTroy Hawkins (RHP)
1 -- Corey Hart (OF)
20 -- Jonathan Lucroy (C)
26 -- Manny Parra (LHP)
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