03/01/12 5:07 PM EST
Brewers come out in favor of expanded playoffs
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Marcum nursing tender throwing shoulder
PHOENIX -- Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum will back off his throwing program after developing some tenderness in his shoulder for the second straight spring, manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday.Roenicke downplayed the news, saying the Brewers already had Marcum on a conservative program this spring after he threw a career-high 210 innings in 2011, including the postseason, two years removed from Tommy John elbow surgery. Marcum and Yovani Gallardo came into camp scheduled for just six Spring Training starts beginning around March 10, Roenicke said. Marcum also had a shoulder issue last spring.
"He says he has it every spring," Roenicke said.Marcum's shoulder was more inflamed last year, when he missed a Cactus League start but was able to start the regular season on time and was the Brewers' most consistent starting pitcher for much of the first half. But he sagged down the stretch, allowing 50 hits and 34 earned runs in his final 41 innings, covering five September starts and three more in the postseason. "We're not that concerned about it, but we talked about it and we didn't think either one of those guys [Marcum or Gallardo] needed as many innings as some of the other starters," Roenicke said.
Marcum, 30, is a free agent at season's end and was pleased with the cautious plan.
"We don't need throw 20 innings in Spring Training," he said. "That's pointless. Spring Training is so long for everybody, by the end of it you're wasting pitches and wasting time."
Brewers taking applications for annual 5K
PHOENIX -- The Brewers began taking applications Thursday for the 14th annual 5K Famous Racing Sausages Run/Walk, to be held July 28 as a fundraiser for the club's community foundation.The sign-up form is available at Brewers.com/5krunwalk. The Brewers expect the event to sell out quickly. The race begins in hour earlier this year -- at 8 a.m. CT for runners and 8:30 a.m. CT for walkers. Per tradition, the racing sausages will run the course, which winds around and through Miller Park, giving fans the chance to run the warning track. Brewers first base coach Ed Sedar is this year's celebrity starter. Brewers Community Foundation included an additional fundraising component for the second straight year, with prizes for the top totals. Visit brewers.com/5kfundraising for official rules.
Roenicke excited to see Fiers in extended action
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke can't wait to get a firsthand look this spring at Mike Fiers, the right-hander with a deceptive delivery who does not wow the scouts but put up video game numbers last season in the Minor Leagues.Following a midseason promotion to Triple-A Nashville, Fiers went 8-0 with a 1.11 ERA, 69 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings and a .174 opponents' average, numbers Roenicke called "ridiculous." Fiers pitched only briefly with the Brewers, making two scoreless appearances in relief. That means Roenicke will get his first extended look at Fiers in Cactus League games, which begin Sunday with a Brewers-Giants matchup at Maryvale Baseball Park. "I saw him in spring last [year], and I remember the first thing is that I loved his curveball," Roenicke said. "But the deception was hard for me, because I didn't get to see him much. ... I know he locates the ball well, has a good changeup. But there is something there with the deception that I think you need to see him to understand what it is." Roenicke compared Fiers' over-the-top delivery to Josh Collmenter, the D-backs right-hander who gave the Brewers so much trouble last season.
Roenicke said reliever Brandon Kintzler threw an "outstanding" bullpen session on Wednesday. The right-hander had a screw surgically inserted to his right elbow last season to repair a fracture, and is a candidate for the Brewers' Opening Day bullpen. He will throw another bullpen session scheduled Saturday and then will progress to live batting practice. ... Left-hander Zach Braddock, who was sick earlier in the week, threw a bullpen on Thursday.