3/19/2013 7:08 P.M. ET
Outfield prospect Davis prepared for bench role
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- The Brewers are considering outfield prospect Khris Davis for one of the final spots on their bench, but wonder whether his power would translate to receiving sporadic at-bats.
But Davis points out that he has done it before. He played off the Cal State-Fullerton bench as a sophomore in 2008, and was 7-for-13 with three home runs as a pinch-hitter and 9-for-21 with 12 RBIs in a non-starting capacity.
"This is the Major Leagues, the best of the best, but if that's my role, I accept the challenge," Davis said. "I enjoy that. There's not a doubt in my mind that I can handle it, as long as I stay positive and work hard."
How did Davis, who is Milwaukee's 16th-best prospect according to MLB.com, wind up on the Cal State-Fullerton bench? In '08, the Titans' starting outfielders included Gary Brown, Josh Fellhauer, Erik Komatsu and Jeff Newman -- three of whom are in the professional ranks today. Komatsu was the Brewers' eighth-round Draft pick in 2008 and Milwaukee's Minor League player of the year in 2010. Fellhauer was a seventh-round Draft pick of the Reds in 2009, and Brown was a first-round Draft pick of the Giants in 2010.
Davis was drafted by the Brewers after his junior season, a seventh-round pick in 2009.
"I had some success coming off the bench, pinch-hitting and knocking a couple out of the park," Davis said. "So, I've got confidence in that area. It's not unfamiliar to me."
Davis reported to his first big league camp with the Brewers ticketed for Triple-A Nashville, but slugged his way into consideration by hitting .361 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his first 17 Cactus League games. He was used as a pinch-hitter on Monday against the Indians and worked a walk.
Even if Davis starts the season in the Minor Leagues, he has made an impression on manager Ron Roenicke and the Major League coaches.
"This is my heaven," Davis said. "I've been waiting for this since I was a kid. I decided at an early age that I wanted to do this, and it's here. I'm just thankful that I'm having success."
Peralta delivers solid performance vs. Angels
PHOENIX -- With Mark Rogers out of the mix for the starting rotation, the Brewers are banking on another young power pitching prospect finding a groove in the two weeks that remain before his scheduled season debut.
On Tuesday afternoon against the Angels, Wily Peralta appeared to find it.
Peralta, MLB.com's top Brewers prospect, held Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and the Angels to a run on six hits over six sharp innings of the Brewers' 6-1 win at Maryvale Baseball Park. It was his best start by far this spring, the sort of performance manager Ron Roenicke is hoping to see when Peralta opens the season as the Brewers' No. 3 starter.
He is lined up to face the Rockies on April 3 at Miller Park.
"Wily was really good," Roenicke said. "It was that nasty, low, 95 [mph] -- I don't know what the readings were -- but he was consistently down with it and threw some nice sliders. He had better rhythm."
Roenicke had a different tone in the hours before the game. There was a degree of concern about Peralta's uneven performances so far in camp.
"He's been inconsistent," Roenicke said before the game. "At times, I see him great, like he was last year, and then all of a sudden he'll come out and lose that. He's got two outings [after Tuesday], so for him, he needs to really pitch well somewhere in here, because going into the season, we can't have him with any thoughts of, 'Man, what's going on with my stuff.'
"He needs to be positive and confident like he was last year. When he came up to us last year, just the conversation I would have with him, he was a very confident guy."
Peralta has a history of Spring Training struggles. In 2011, after Zack Greinke cracked a rib playing basketball, the Brewers gave Peralta a chance to win a job in the starting rotation and he failed to get out of the first inning of his next game against the Rockies. Peralta allowed 10 earned runs, 15 hits and 10 walks in 10 Cactus League innings that year. In 2012, Peralta surrendered six earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 6 1/3 Cactus League innings.
Yet he went on to respectable regular seasons. In 2012, Peralta was 7-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 28 starts for Triple-A Nashville, including 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA over his final 15 starts. He was then 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in five September starts for the Brewers.
Tuesday marked a positive step, he said.
"I had my rhythm coming back, finally," Peralta said. "It feels good."
Brewers unveil Miller Park upgrades
PHOENIX -- The Brewers unveiled some additions to Miller Park at a media event on Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Among the upgrades:
• The Dew Deck, a seating area above the right field bleachers that dates to Miller Park's opening year, was renovated to add a 25-foot high rock climbing wall designed in the shape of a can of Mountain Dew. The wall will be open for three hours every game day, with room for four climbers at a time.
• Renovations to the SKYY Lounge, formerly called the Home Plate Lounge, which is open to fans with club level seating. Among the changes is a new "Chef's Table" counter.
• The addition of the Miller Lite Party Deck, an all-inclusive area for up to 70 fans above the loge bleachers in right field. Reservation information is at Brewers.com/allin.
• Right-hander Mark Rogers threw another live batting practice session Tuesday and "made some progress," Roenicke said, but was still "not the guy that we saw before." The Brewers have been trying to put Rogers in a situation to regain the velocity he showed late last season, when he went 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA in seven big league starts.
"The medical end of it is fine," Roenicke said. "Last year, he kind of went through the same thing, though it was during recovery from [carpal tunnel] surgery. The velocity seems to come as he pitches, and when it shows up, I don't know. He's a guy that needs the velocity. He's not a [Burke] Badenhop, who just depends on commanding the ball and throwing it down in the zone and corner to corner. This is a guy with an arm who throws it by people."
• With Rogers out of the mix for the starting rotation, Roenicke confirmed that Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Peralta, Chris Narveson and Mike Fiers are tentatively lined-up in that order to begin the season. Tentatively, Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz are planning to keep those pitchers in line, though four off-days in April give them flexibility to adjust.
• Reliever Jim Henderson pitched for the first time in six days after dealing with back tightness and delivered a scoreless eighth inning against the Angels, with two strikeouts. It was his first opportunity to implement a mechanical adjustment that Henderson hopes will hone his command.
• With Ryan Braun back in the lineup for the first time since his stint in the World Baseball Classic, the Brewers fielded a nearly complete lineup Tuesday for the first time in weeks. Only center fielder Carlos Gomez had the day off in a 6-1 win over the Angels.
"That was one of our better games," Roenicke said. "It was nice to see that lineup out there."
• Three non-roster players -- pitchers Travis Webb and Rob Wooten and catcher Robinzon Diaz -- were returned to Minor League camp on Tuesday, leaving 37 players on the Brewers' camp roster.