PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke still has six weeks to set a starting lineup, but his discussions with reporters have been providing some clues about his thinking.Rickie Weeks is set as the leadoff man, and Roenicke will almost surely use some combination of Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee in the two- through five-holes. McGehee led the team with 104 RBIs last season hitting fifth, but Hart could also bat in that spot. However those players line up, it looks like Roenicke has three open slots, and if Saturday's conversation was a guide, it appears as if he's leaning toward hitting new shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt sixth, center fielder Carlos Gomez seventh and catcher Jonathan Lucroy eighth. "Betancourt, here's a guy who had a nice year last year in a tough hitting ballpark [in Kansas City]," Roenicke said. "So, he's not your on-base guy because he doesn't walk a lot, but he's driving in runs and he's hitting home runs. Where do you put him? ... Whoever our last bopper is [in the five-hole], somebody has to be there to protect him a little bit. Maybe [Betancourt] is the guy."
Roenicke has said he likes an on-base-minded player in the eight-hole to help turn over the lineup. Lucroy could fit that bill. His on-base percentage after a May call-up last season was a modest .300, but that was better than the marks put up by Betancourt and Gomez.
"I think if you look at what Lucroy did in the Minor Leagues, he's not a low on-base guy," Roenicke said. "You can't go by what Lucroy did last year. He had a lot on his plate after he came to the big leagues, trying to handle a staff."
Healthy DiFelice fighting for job in 'pen
PHOENIX -- Mark DiFelice is back in big league camp with the Brewers after losing all of 2010 to shoulder surgery. His signature pitch is back, too."The cutter -- still got it," said DiFelice, who carved a niche in Milwaukee's bullpen in 2008 and '09 essentially with one pitch, limiting right-handed batters to a .218 average. "I had dreams of trying to throw again after the surgery, and it wasn't there," he said. "You're kind of like, 'Now what?'" Thankfully, those dreams -- more like nightmares -- never became reality. He threw 22 bullpen sessions last summer under the watch of Brewers medical staffers before facing his first hitter, and finished the year with nine innings in the Brewers' fall instructional program. There was an offer to pitch winter ball, but DiFelice felt fatigued after a summer of rehab, so he went home to Philadelphia. He worked out over the winter at Villanova University and drew an invitation from the Brewers to Major League Spring Training. He's pitching with "no limitations," DiFelice said. "As of right now, I'm 100 percent. The shoulder feels great. I'm so happy to be back in camp and able to participate, enjoy the camaraderie with the guys. I worked hard last year to get back where I am now." DiFelice reported to Maryvale Baseball Park on Feb. 1 and had four bullpens under his belt before pitchers and catchers took part in the first formal workout. Now, at 34, he's back where he was in 2008 and '09 -- trying to win a job. "Nothing new to me," he said. The Brewers could have one bullpen spot unspoken for, but DiFelice is at a disadvantage because he's not on the 40-man roster. Other candidates include veteran Sean Green and younger arms like Brandon Kintzler, Mike McClendon, Justin James and Rule 5 pick Pat Egan.
Newcomer Segovia has Brewers family ties
PHOENIX -- Brewers newcomer Zack Segovia is happy to have at least one familiar face at Maryvale Baseball Park.He's the son-in-law of Darnell Coles, the Brewers' Minor League hitting coordinator. Segovia met Coles' daughter, DeAnna, in 2005 in Clearwater, Fla., where the Phillies have a complex. They were already married by '08, when Segovia pitched a one-game rehabilitation assignment for a Nationals affiliate managed by Coles. That team's pitching coach was Rich Gale, who now serves in the same role for Milwaukee's Triple-A club. Now, Coles and Segovia are reunited. Segovia signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee in November and was invited to Major League camp. "It's nice to know somebody," Segovia said. "You look at guys like [outfield prospect Logan] Schafer, and he's played forever with all of these other guys around us." The hard-throwing Segovia, who will turn 28 in April, almost signed with Milwaukee a year earlier. He was released by the Nationals on the morning of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft and drew interest from the Brewers, Mets and Yankees. But the Brewers felt they had too full a camp and did not offer a big league Spring Training invite. The others did, so Segovia opted for the Yankees. He was 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 44 relief appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then posted a 2.35 ERA and nine saves in the Dominican Winter League.