PHOENIX -- New Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will get a much better feel for his ballclub beginning Tuesday, when the full squad works out for the first time. Principal owner Mark Attanasio is among the guests scheduled to address the team in a long morning meeting, and Roenicke intends to use his own address to set a tone for his first season at the helm."I prepare a little bit, because there are certain things that are really important to me that I want them to know," Roenicke said. "From there, it just kind of goes where I see it needs to go. I've been listening to Mike [Scioscia, the Angels manager] for the last 11 years, and when I'm listening to him in his meetings, I always have an idea of what I would like to say." With other messages from team doctors and other front-office officials, Brewers players likely won't hit the fields for their first full-squad workout until after 11 a.m. local time. It will feature the first rounds of live batting practice, hitters' first opportunity to see "real" pitching and 11 pitchers' first opportunity to throw with somebody in the batter's box. "They do ramp it up, and on the guys that are hard to see, you see the ugly swings," Roenicke said. "Although, this first day, most swings are kind of ugly."
The Brewers begin Cactus League play on Feb. 28 with split-squad games against the Cubs and Giants. Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz are still formulating their exhibition rotation, but Roenicke intends to keep his starting pitchers away from National League Central opponents Chicago and Cincinnati, so whoever gets the nod for that first day will likely face the Giants.
"I would prefer that," Roenicke said. "If it's mapped out to where we're getting near the end and we've got a [division] opponent and we say, 'You know something, we don't need them to be seeing [our pitcher] again,' maybe we'll have a simulated game or most likely he'll pitch in a Triple-A game if that works out."
With Tuesday's workout, things will start to look a whole lot more like Spring Training.
"Hopefully, there won't be too much confusion," Roenicke said. "But it will be different, because there will be a lot more guys moving around. ... It'll get interesting."
Axford getting back to full strength
PHOENIX -- Who knew one bite of sushi would cost Brewers closer John Axford his first week of Spring Training?Axford participated in a full pitchers and catchers workout on Monday for the first time since his Valentine's Day dinner with wife Nicole. Something didn't sit well with Axford, who missed a few days of camp with food poisoning and has slowly been regaining strength. He said he finally expects to get back on the mound for a bullpen session Tuesday. "We didn't want to jump-start it too quick and pull something," Axford said. "Today was the first day I did everything in the workout and it felt pretty good." Axford is a bit behind the rest of the pitchers, who will take part in live batting practice in Tuesday's first full-squad workout. But at least there's progress. "I'm getting ready to go, getting antsy," he said. Another reliever, left-hander Manny Parra, resumed some throwing Monday after missing several days with a stiff back, manager Ron Roenicke said.
Hawkins reaching out to fans with Twitter
PHOENIX -- LaTroy Hawkins wasn't going to let fellow Brewers reliever John Axford have all the fun on Twitter.Axford lost his status as the only active Brewer on the social networking site when he unmasked the previously private Hawkins (@Adidas219) over the weekend. Hawkins grew from fewer than 80 followers to nearly 800 by Monday morning and plans to use his page to spread inspirational and spiritual messages. He's also figuring out how to communicate with his fans. "I saw Axford having fun," Hawkins said. "Brewers fans are awesome, so there won't be all of that negative stuff you might get other places, which is cool. It's all positive stuff for me, every day. I'll post inspirational messages or something from the Bible. "If there's something negative, I'll just block. There's so much negative in the world that we need some positive reinforcement."
Hawkins' name has been added to MLB.com's list of verified Major Leaguers on Twitter.