PHOENIX -- With the team's ownership group and major sponsors on hand Saturday, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke posted a potential preview of his Opening Day batting order.Before left fielder Ryan Braun exited after the top of the first inning against the D-backs, the eight spots above the pitcher looked like this: 1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Mark Kotsay, RF
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
8. George Kottaras, C The question marks are right field, where starter Corey Hart has been shut down because of a rib-cage strain, and catcher, where Kottaras and Wil Nieves have been splitting starts while projected starter Jonathan Lucroy recovers from a fractured pinkie finger. If Hart can get back on the field by Opening Day, he could hit second and bump Gomez down to sixth or seventh. But if Kotsay has to step in, Saturday's lineup "could be real similar" to the one the Brewers post on March 31 in Cincinnati, Roenicke said. "[Hart] is not your typical second hitter, but he's done really well in that spot and he likes it in that spot," Roenicke said. "If you put him there, I certainly wouldn't want to pitch to those first five guys. It makes it really dangerous up front in the lineup. "If Gomez was a guy that turns into a .350 on-base percentage, Gomez would fit real nicely in that second spot. I don't know if he's going to be a guy who can all of a sudden change that much." Roenicke said he'd have no problem giving Gomez a green light to run ahead of Braun and Fielder. "There's no reason not to," Roenicke said. "If he gets in scoring position [with first base open] and they don't want to pitch to Ryan, then they have to pitch to Prince. Any time you can get someone in scoring position, for me, you have to do it."
Braun says he's fine after rib-cage strain
PHOENIX -- A familiar problem popped up Saturday for Brewers All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun, who exited the team's Spring Training game with a rib-cage strain.Braun's right side banged into the outfield wall during batting practice, and he felt some discomfort along his left side after that.
"Didn't feel right," manager Ron Roenicke said about Braun, who chased a foul ball in the top of the first inning in the afternoon game against the D-backs.Braun exited as a precaution, and through a club spokesperson said he was "fine." The Brewers' official report said Braun strained his intercostals, the small muscles between the ribs that have given him trouble in the past. It's a minor injury, but one that can linger for an indefinite period of time. Braun was already scheduled to be off Sunday against the Royals.
The Brewers' All-Star right fielder, Corey Hart, has a similar injury to his left oblique, the large muscle along the outside of the ribs. Hart suffered his injury two weeks ago Saturday and has yet to swing a bat since.Against the D-backs on Saturday, Braun was penciled into his usual three-hole and played the top of the first inning in left field without any apparent incident. Instead of batting in the bottom of the inning, Chris Dickerson took Braun's place. It's been a very busy spring for the Brewers' athletic training staff. Besides Hart, starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy (fractured finger), likely Opening Day starter Zack Greinke (cracked rib) and reliever Manny Parra (back) are all unavailable, and second baseman Rickie Weeks has only been playing a couple of innings per day because of a tight groin.
Lucroy optimistic about catching opener
PHOENIX -- A surgeon will remove the pin inserted in Jonathan Lucroy's fractured right pinkie finger on March 21, the Brewers said, and the player remains hopeful about catching Yovani Gallardo 10 days later in the team's regular-season opener.
2010 Spring Training - Milwaukee Brewers
News & Features
- Brewers officially set roster for Opening Day
- Last call
- Davis excited to make big league debut with Brewers
- Narveson content with move to bullpen
- Schafer to serve as Brewers' emergency catcher
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins, working his way back from last season's shoulder surgery, threw live batting practice on Saturday and reported via Twitter that it "went well." "Threw strikes," he wrote. "[Velocity] isn't there but I was free and easy." His next appearance could be in a Spring Training game.