03/19/11 8:53 PM ET
Hawkins pitches in first game since August
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
"I threw an inning," Hawkins said of his Minor League appearance. "It was pretty good. The key was I'm pain free."
Though Hawkins had faced his teammates in live batting practice and simulated games, the chance to get into a more competitive atmosphere at any level marked important progress for the veteran right-hander.
"It felt good to be out there facing somebody with a different jersey," Hawkins said. "I've been throwing to our hitters, but it's different when you throw against another team. The adrenaline gets to flowing a lot more."
Manager Ron Roenicke was pleased with Hawkins' outing, though he'll keep him pitching in Minor League games for the short term to ensure the club has flexibility on back-dating a disabled list appearance if Hawkins isn't ready to go by Opening Day.
"The ball came out a lot better than I think he expected for his first outing," Roenicke said. "He had good life on his fastball."
Hawkins should have time to get ready by Opening Day, but keeping him out of big league games means he could be on the DL retroactively if necessary, and potentially only miss a couple of days, rather than missing up to 10 if he appears in a Major League game.
"I have no ill effects from yesterday," Hawkins said. "I feel like I didn't pitch yesterday. I feel better [than normal]."
Hawkins is focusing on locating his fastball, though he threw sliders and changeups on Friday, too. He's happy to be pitching in any competitive environment this spring, and barring any setbacks, he's set to pitch again Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Considering the seven-month layoff he's endured, he's right where he wants to be this spring.
"I wish I could have been there about a week ago, but I'm feeling good," Hawkins said. "I'm happy about the results yesterday and how I feel today. I'm pretty excited. I haven't been excited in a long time."
Brewers get good news on Marcum's shoulder
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a flood of bad news about injured Brewers, Shaun Marcum bailed the Crew out with a good report Saturday after exiting Thursday's game early with tightness in his shoulder.
"Everything's good," Marcum said on Saturday, a day after meeting with team doctors to assess the severity of his symptoms.
"I'll take a couple days off and rest it, then pick the throwing program back up Monday or Tuesday. I'll probably just miss a start down here, but nothing during the regular season, as of right now."
2010 Spring Training - Milwaukee Brewers
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Marcum's fate had the club worried, after already suffering the loss of Opening Day starter Zack Greinke, who injured his ribs in a pickup basketball game, and struggling to find the depth to replace him.
"He's progressing," manager Ron Roenicke said of Marcum. "They moved his shoulder around in the training room and it felt good. I don't know when he's scheduled to throw a bullpen, but it looks like he'll skip just the one start."
Marcum will not do any baseball activities until early next week, though he said the tightness was something he could have pitched through during the regular season.
"Today I feel pretty good," Marcum said. "There's no pain or anything. I think I just got overworked a little early on in Spring Training and got a little fatigued, so we're going to give it a couple days to rest and pick it back up. We'll get back there quick."
Spring going according to plan for Wolf
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The graph of Randy Wolf's spring performance is exactly what managers and pitching coaches are looking for from their starting pitchers. The line charting his innings pitched has been climbing with each outing while the line with his runs allowed has steadily gone in the opposite direction.
His fourth start Saturday was Wolf's best yet, lasting 5 2/3 innings and holding the Dodgers to two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three. He had good command and kept the Dodgers off balance by mixing his speeds.
"He was outstanding," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I could have left him out there to finish [the sixth], but he was at 72 pitches, which we thought was good. That was a really nice effort. Everything was working for him -- his breaking balls were working, he threw some nice changeups, spotted his fastball well and got a big walk for us [at the plate]."
Wolf attributed part of his success to a new grip for his cutter that he picked up from pitching coach Rick Kranitz and added to his arsenal for the first time Saturday.
"It was harder and it was a little bit later," he said of his cutter's new movement. "It felt easier to throw. Sometimes I feel like I have to force it. Any pitch that you really don't have to try to throw makes it a lot easier.
"It was a very small adjustment, but it's one of those pitches I'm going to keep on working on, and make sure I'm totally comfortable with it. My first feel of it today felt really good. The main thing I want to be able to do is to be able to locate it."
The Brewers are undefeated in Wolf's four spring starts, with Saturday's contest ending in a 6-6 tie after 10 innings. He went four innings his last start, but stretched himself out against the Dodgers by being more efficient with his pitches.
"It was good to get into the sixth inning today," Wolf said. "I probably could have gone a few more pitches, but in that situation, especially at this time of year, the main thing is the ups and downs."
Wolf's lines are all moving in the right direction, and with two more Cactus Leagues starts before Opening Day, he's right on target.
DiFelice hit by liner, considered day-to-day
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brewers reliever Mark DiFelice left Saturday's 6-6 tie against the Dodgers after being hit by a line drive off the bat of Trent Oeltjen. He is considered day-to-day.
DiFelice entered the game in the eighth inning and Oeltjen was the first hitter he faced. Oeltjen's drive grazed DiFelice's right hand and continued into center field for a base hit.
Manager Ron Roenicke reported after the game that DiFelice suffered contusions on the third and fourth knuckles of his right hand.
DiFelice was making his seventh Cactus League appearance, and has compiled a 3.18 ERA over 5 2/3 innings. He missed all of 2010 while recovering from a shoulder strain, and is 5-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 74 big league appearances, all for the Brewers, in '08 and '09.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.