Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Alumni Newsletter Vol. 2

The Brewers lost 9-8 to the Reds on Sunday.

Martin Maldonado (’09) was the only ex-Rattler to get in the game. He went 0-for-1.

Matt Tuiasosopo is willing to play anywhere to make the Mariners Opening Day roster.

This is one family battle where Matt Tuiasosopo has no intention of keeping the details in-house.

In fact, the Mariners infielder has made it a point to ensure that on-field showdowns between him and his future brother-in-law, pitcher Micah Owings of the Arizona Diamondbacks, don’t get mentioned at the spring training home they’ve rented together. So, Owings didn’t joke about getting him to fly out to shallow right with a runner on third Friday afternoon and Tuiasosopo has kept quiet about hitting a homer and single off the D-backs reliever during a Class AAA game in 2008.

The pair didn’t know each other that first time around, but, a year later in 2009, Tuiasosopo began dating Owings’ sister, Abi. They got engaged in December, meaning, in many ways, that Tuiasosopo’s off-field life has become far more stable than what he’s living on the field.

“If you look, I’ve played third base, then second base, then left field and now I’m at first base,” Tuiasosopo, hitting .292 this spring, said with a chuckle on Saturday. “I just go where they need me to play. That’s what they need me to do if I want to make the team, so I’ve just got to do it.”

Tuiasosopo was recently asked by the Mariners to shift his concentration away from third base and focus on first base and left field. To some, that was a sign that Tuiasosopo, a bit of a surprising opening-day member the past two seasons, was in danger of having that streak end this year.

In reality, Tuiasosopo’s chances of making the team have probably increased with the developments in left field. Milton Bradley stands a good chance of being the opening-day left fielder, meaning the team could send Michael Saunders to Class AAA to ensure he continues to get daily playing time.
His play has been so dazzling at times this spring that the lone question surrounding him has been not if he will make it to the big leagues, but when, and will it be April 1 of this season.

The ease in which Lawrie has settled into third has been one of the more pleasant developments of the spring for the Jays.

“He sure has,” Tony LaCava, the Jays assistant general manager and vice-president of baseball operations replied when asked if Lawrie is surprising people with how well he is adapting to the new position. “He’s showed the ability to make the above-average play, which is interesting. That gives him a chance to be better than average.

“An average fielder should make average plays. The work will come with him when he has to make the routine plays, when he gets to make all of them and makes them regularly and becomes consistent with that. He has also shown the ability to make the above-average play which is really exciting. So, he’s exceeding our expectations defensively so far.”

How so?

“He’s doing some things at third base that some guys never ever do,” LaCava said. “Some times when he’s deep and gets an in-between hop, he knows to play through it instead of laying back and getting eaten up. He’s aggressive by nature and at times that’s how you have to play third base. It’s a reactive position and I think he has the skill sets to do it.”

For his part, Lawrie said his goals for the spring were to get to befriend his new teammates, get established and have some fun.

“It’s just been an opportunity for me to open up some eyes,” he said. “The more you get to know your teammates the easier it is to play because your surroundings are so much better. That’s been the thing for me here, just go out and have some fun and play the game like I’ve always played it.”

Post for a rainy Sunday

First of all, the Timber Rattlers played their first game of Spring Training on Friday down in Arizona.  That’s not entirely true.  There is no guarantee that the players on this Timber Rattlers roster will be on the roster when the regular season starts…BUT! HEY! TIMBER RATTLERS WIN!

They beat a team of Reds minor leaguers 4-1.  Check out the boxscore at the bottom of this post from the ever present battlekow on BrewerFan.net.

The main numbers:
Cody Hawn: 1-for-3, RBI
Michael Walker: 2-for-3, RUN, RBI

The starting pitcher was Austin Ross.  His line: 4IP, 3H, R, 0ER, 0BB, K

NOTE: I will be down in Arizona from March 24-29.  I will be filing reports each evening on TimberRattlers.com.  Additionally, I will be at the Timber Rattlers games on March 25 (v. Cincinnati), 26 (v. Cleveland), & 27 (@ San Diego).  There is also (probably) an intrasquad game scheduled on March 28.  The plan is to update you live on my twitter account @CMehring during the games.

Also at the link are boxscores of the other Brewers minor league teams.  Check on the progress of former Rattlers players.

A couple of photos on this rainy Sunday:

From the usual spot.
Thumbnail image for Rainy Sunday afternoon 001.JPGAnd from down the third base side there is this to show the last vestiges of the snow.

Rainy Sunday afternoon 002.JPG18 days!  18 DAYS!

Brewers 5, Mariners 4

The Bucks went into overtime last night and I was out like a light before the Brewers-Mariners game showed up on TV.  (I suppose I need to start training to stay up a bit later before the start of the season. Don’t want to drop off on the air during an early April night game).

Milwaukee 5 @ Seattle 4 in Cactus League action last night.

Ex-Rattlers in the game:

Brewers:
Martin Maldonado (’09): 1-for-1

Mariners:
Michael Pineda (’08): 4IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 3K
Matt Tuiasosopo (’05): 0-for-1
Michael Saunders (’06): 0-for-1

Speaking of Pineda:

The Mariners are hoping to have Michael Pineda make their starting five coming out of spring training and a big part of that will be his ability to command his secondary pitches.

Pineda had a rough start tonight, but his slider was working throughout his four innings and his change-up really improved over his latter two frames.

“He was up a little bit, but more importantly he got back down,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “The way he was using his secondary stuff, it was as good as we’ve seen it all spring.”

Wedge said Pineda’s change-up versus lefties is a good pitch for him.

“It’s something where he continues to gain more and more confidence with it,” Wedge said.

So, what was most improved about it tonight?

“You just look at the swings,” he said. “You look at the reaction of hitters. Hitters can always tell you so much. You look at whether they’re taking a pitch, or whether they’re swinging, or maybe just a little reaction up there. I think we saw all that tonight with Michael.”

Brewers 7, Royals 5

Sunday’s game between the Royals and the Brewers involved a bunch of players involved in “The Trade”.

The Brewers won the game 7-5.

Ex-Rattlers:

Brewers:
Sean Halton (’10): 1-for-1, BB
Wily Peralta (’09): 3.2IP, 5H, R, BB, K, WIN
Cody Scarpetta (’09): IP, 2H, R

Royals:
Lorenzo Cain (’09): 1-for-3
Jeremy Jeffress (’10): IP, H, R, 2BB, K

Adam McCalvy’s game story:

Jeffress allowed one hit, two walks, two runs and threw two wild pitches in a trying third inning against his former franchise. He was Milwaukee’s first-round Draft pick in 2006.

“It’s just a game, man, you’ve got to go in and do your job on the field,” Jeffress said. “It was just one of those days I couldn’t find the strike zone a little bit.”

He took some good-natured ribbing from former teammates.

“Some of the guys over there were trying to say stuff a little bit, but it’s all love,” Jeffress said.

“It’s so good to see the guys and see everybody’s faces.”

The Brewers play the Giants this afternoon.

In other news, six players in the big league camp were optioned to the minor league camp after the game.

The Brewers moved six players off the big league camp roster, including one potential fifth starter candidate, in the first round of cuts on Sunday.

That fifth starter candidate is right-hander Amaury Rivas, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. He was one of the players mentioned as a potential fill-in for Zack Greinke, who will miss the start of the season with a cracked rib.

The Brewers also optioned pitchers Dan Merklinger and Cody Scarpetta to Double-A Huntsville and returned pitchers Robert Hinton and Roque Mercedes and catcher Anderson De La Rosa to Minor League camp.

The first Minor League full-squad workout was Sunday, but all six players were given until Tuesday to report.

The item on the roster moves is at the bottom of this Adam McCalvy notebook, which you should read in full as it touches on Takashi Saito, the starter in yesterday’s game. Saito is from Japan and has family members and friends unaccounted for after the earthquake and tsunami in his homeland.

Rockies 9, Brewers 8 (10)

The Brewers lost 9-8 in ten innings to the Rockies on Thursday.

Ex-Rattlers for the Brewers in that game:

Dan Merlinkger (’09): IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
Cody Scarpetta (’09): IP, 2H, R, 0BB, K
Michael Fiers (’09): .2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K

Here is Adam McCalvy’s game writeup.

Milwaukee is playing the Athletics today at 2:05pm CST.  Yovani Gallardo is on the mound to start the game.  No word on any former Rattlers on the big league roster for today.  Check the Timber Rattlers twitter account later today.  Or, listen in on the Brewers free live webcast when the game starts.

Brewers Cactus League action

Milwaukee lost a pair of Cactus League games on Sunday.

The majority of ex-Rattlers were in the game against Oakland.

Oakland 5, Brewers 4

MIL:
Scooter Gennett (’10): 1-for-2, 2B, RBI
Carlos George (’10): 1-for-1, RUN, RBI
Erik Komatsu (’09): 1-for-1, RUN
Carlos Maldonado (’09): 0-for-1
Dan Merklinger (’09): IP, 3H, 3R, 2BB, K

OAK:
Brian Fuentes (’97): IP, 2H, 0R, 3K

Texas 8, Brewers 1

MIL:
Hunter Morris (’10): 0-for-1
D’Vontrey Richardson (’10): 0-for-1

Giants 7, Brewers 2

A rough first inning led to a Brewers loss to San Francisco. Final score 7-2.

The split-squad Giants struck early by batting around and scoring five runs in the first inning against Brewers right-hander Tim Dillard. Pat Burrell started the rally with an RBI single after Aubrey Huff doubled before Mark DeRosa plated two runs with a double off the right-field wall. Then it was Belt’s turn, and he delivered with a towering two-run blast to right field to give the Giants a five-run lead, which was plenty for the Giants’ pitching staff.

Ex-Rattlers in the game for the Brewers:

Martin Maldonado (’09): 1-for-1, RBI
Hunter Morris (’10): 0-for-1

Milwaukee hosts the Angels today at 2:05pm CST.

Brewers 11, Athletics 9

Nice comeback for the Brewers yesterday.  They trailed the Athletics 7-0 after the top of the second inning.  Milwaukee rallied for the win in dramatic — well, as dramatic as an early March Cactus League game can be — fashion.

Minor-league catcher Anderson De La Rosa created a fond memory of his first big-league camp by socking a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to erase a 9-8 deficit and win the game. A veteran of seven minor-league seasons in the Brewers’ organization, De La Rosa said he never had socked a walk-off homer. The Brewers, who trailed, 7-0, in the second inning, also received home runs from Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee (third in two days), Erick Almonte and Mike Rivera.

The only ex-Rattler to play in the game for the Brewers yesterday was Scooter Gennett.  Scooter, who will be up next in The Interrogation Room, went 1-for-2 in the game.  That one hit was a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning to put runners on first and third.  De La Rosa was next and hit the game-winning home run.

The Brewers take on San Francisco today at 2:05pm CST.  I have not seen which former Rattlers will be on the roster for the Crew today.  However, former Rattler rehabber Jeff Suppan is scheduled to start for the Giants.  You can listen on WTMJ or on MLB.com.

Triple for Morris

The Brewers won their Cactus League game with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. The Crew picked up a 3-2 victory.

While most of the stories are focused on the first Zach Greinke appearance in a Brewers uniform, I couldn’t help but notice Hunter Morris (’10) picked up a lead-off triple in the top of the ninth.

Unfortunately, the Brewers botched a suicide squeeze one out later, but…still…nice for Morris.

Ex-Rattlers in then game:

Brewers:
Morris: 1-for-1
Martin Maldonado: 0-for-1

A note on Maldonado, I heard Brian Anderson on the web broadcast of the game yesterday and he pronounced the first name of the former Rattler as Mar-teen.  Good to know.

Meanwhile over with the White Sox:

Matt Thornton (’00): IP, 2H, 0R, K

Milwaukee hosts the Cubs today at 2pm CST.  Yovani Gallardo gets the start for the Brewers.

Looking at yesterday

There were plenty of ex-Rattlers in action for the Brewers in the split squad games to open Cactus League play on Monday.

Up in Mesa, where the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3:

Cody Scarpetta: IP, 2H, 0R, K
Jim Henderson: .1IP, 0H, 0R
Taylor Green: 1-for-3
Scooter Gennett: 0-for-1
Cutter Dykstra: 0-for-1

Additionally, Bryan LaHair (’04) was 1-for-3 for the Cubs in that game.

And in Maryvale, where the Brewers lost 10-9 to the San Francisco Giants:

Wily Peralta: 2IP, 2H, 2R, K
Carlos George: 1-for-2, RBI
Sean Halton: 1-for-2
Martin Maldonado: 1-for-3, RUN

Also, you have to head over to The Brewers Bar for Jaymes Langrehr’s list of the best lines by Bob Uecker during yesterday’s game.

A couple of my favorites:

On using the DH today (deadpan): “It’s a National League game, but they can do whatever they want in Spring Training.”

After listing a slew of substitutions in the middle innings: “In case you score with us…you shouldn’t.”

Oh, baseball, it is good to have you back.

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