02/25/2013 6:57 PM ET
Burgos cites confidence for success in 2012
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The Brewers' reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Year does not possess the power fastball of some of his peers. Hiram Burgos said he discovered something else during his breakthrough 2012 season.
"Last year, everything was about confidence," Burgos said. "Now, I trust all of my stuff, all of my pitches. I just have to go out there and use it the right way. I'm the kind of pitcher that I have to think on every pitch, I have to execute."
He executed more often than not in 2012, going 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 28 games between Class A Brevard County, Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville.
But 2013 is a new year with new goals, Burgos said Monday after pitching against the Padres at Maryvale Baseball Park. He allowed one hit in the first two scoreless innings, then allowed two hits in the third inning, including a long home run to second baseman Jedd Gyorko.
"They squared up a lot of balls on him," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's going to have to locate really well."
Next month, Burgos will represent Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, so Roenicke made sure to assign him to the home half of split-squad games Monday. Roenicke wants to see as much of Burgos as possible before he departs on March 3.
Burgos' Classic workload hinges on right-hander Javier Vazquez, who is trying to rush back from a minor knee surgery. If Vazquez is ready, Burgos will work in relief of the veteran in Puerto Rico's first game. If Vazquez is not ready, then Burgos is prepared to start.
"For sure, I'm throwing the first game. For sure," Burgos said. "It's an honor to have the name of your country on your uniform."
Gomez spent winter looking for strikes
PHOENIX -- Carlos Gomez did not need a calculator Monday to figure his spring on-base percentage.
Gomez walked in an intrasquad game Friday, walked twice in Saturday's Cactus League opener against the A's and walked again Monday before pulling a pair of hanging breaking balls for singles against the Padres. He's reached safely every time up.
"This year I didn't play winter ball, but I've been tracking [pitches]," said Gomez, who hired a former Minor Leaguer to throw him 50 pitches a day in the Dominican Republic.
He did not start swinging at any of those pitches until late in the winter, when Gomez was ramping up workouts ahead of Spring Training.
"He didn't tell me what was coming. It was just track, track, track," Gomez said. "I know that's going to help me a lot if you control the strike zone and swing at more strikes."
When it was suggested that Dominican GM Moises Alou might notice Gomez's statistics and try to talk him out of skipping the World Baseball Classic, Gomez shook his head. The answer is still no. He wants to focus instead on his final season with the Brewers before free agency.
"When I say something, that's it," Gomez said.
Prince showcases versatility with start in center
PHOENIX -- Josh Prince has already hit his way onto the Brewers' 40-man roster, and now he's trying to play his way into the team's Major League plans.
Sensational defender Logan Schafer shifted to right field for a split-squad game against the Reds on Monday so the Brewers could get a look at Prince in center, one of the many positions he is expected to man this spring at Maryvale Baseball Park. Prince rode a terrific Arizona Fall League (.404 average, 36-for-89) into the Brewers' plans.
"Maybe he'll turn into an everyday player in the big leagues," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But if not, he's a guy that I think could be super-utility. There's not too many guys that can play different positions, especially shortstop, and then also be able to play the outfield."
Prince was drafted as a shortstop out of Tulane in the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He played three years there in the Brewers' system before switching to center field for Double-A Huntsville at the start of 2012 and also played three games at shortstop and four at third base. The Brewers hope to get him comfortable in left field and right field this spring.
If he's successful, Prince could develop into a player like Jerry Hairston Jr., whose versatility came in so handy during the second half of 2011. Hairston only played 45 regular-season games in a Milwaukee uniform but manned four different positions.
Prince finished last year's regular season with a .251 average, seven home runs, 55 RBIs and 41 stolen bases, second most in the Southern League to Reds speedster Billy Hamilton.
"He really runs," Roenicke said of Prince. "He's supposed to be a real good baserunner with good instincts. He's kind of stocky, but looking at the times we ran our 30s [30-yard dashes], he's one of our fastest guys."
Against the Reds on Monday, Prince was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Brewers exhibition tickets on sale Friday
PHOENIX -- The Brewers will begin selling tickets Friday morning for a pair of late-March exhibition games against the White Sox at Miller Park.
Those games are Friday, March 29, at 7:10 p.m. CT and Saturday, March 30, at 1:10 p.m. CT. Ticket sales for those games will begin at 9 a.m. CT on Friday via a variety of outlets including Brewers.com.
Field diamond seats will cost $15 and all other tickets are $10 on a first-come, first-served basis. Preferred parking is $14 in advance and $18 on the day of game.
• Mat Gamel said images of his torn right ACL had been sent to another physician for a second opinion. At some point, Gamel is expected to require season-ending surgery. He has been walking around with no pain.
• The Brewers have played three days of Cactus League games and Taylor Green has already started at first base, second base and third base.
• One of the Brewers' split-squad lineups Monday included a mystery "Rogers" serving as designated hitter. The only Rogers in camp is right-hander Mark, who'd started against the Indians the previous day.
It was Jason Rogers, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter who split last season between Class A Wisconsin and Advanced Class A Brevard County, batting .301 with 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 133 games. He was a 32nd-round Draft pick in 2010.
Rogers was needed because some of the Brewers' regular hitters -- Norichika Aoki, Aramis Ramirez and Alex Gonzalez -- had already played two straight days and had Monday off.