3/21/2013 7:00 P.M. ET
Sunday outing key for reliever Rogers
By Adam McCalvy and Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Mark Rogers is scheduled to start one of the Brewers' split-squad games on Sunday and remains a candidate for the Opening Day bullpen, manager Ron Roenicke said.
The 27-year-old former first-round Draft pick is out of options and reported to camp a candidate for the starting rotation, but experienced a case of "dead arm" that impacted his velocity and command. His last two outings have been simulated games, and the Sunday outing -- either at home against the Rockies or on the road against the Padres -- could be Rogers' last chance to discover his velocity and command.
Is it possible for those traits, missing in recent weeks, to simply re-appear?
"Well, I think so," Roenicke said. "It seems to do it for him during the season. Some guys, for whatever reason, it just takes a while to get that velocity. We're still waiting for a couple of guys."
Rogers' status will determine how many openings remain in a relief corps already expected to include closer John Axford, left-handers Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez and right-handers Burke Badenhop, Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler. It appears the Brewers are open to carrying eight relievers to start the season.
Besides Rogers, other candidates include Michael Olmsted, Alfredo Figaro and Josh Stinson.
"I see it [going down] to the last few days," Roenicke said. "I don't see us making any decision before that. Each one of them brings something a little bit different."
Figaro and Stinson could deliver "length," Roenicke said. Olmsted is a one-inning man but posses a power arm and a cross-body delivery that could be very tough on right-handed hitters.
Schafer draws comparison to Finley
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the topic of Logan Schafer's center-field talents came up Thursday morning, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke gave the versatile outfielder a lofty compliment, comparing him to five-time Gold Glove winner Steve Finley.
Like Schafer, Finley played a lot of left and right field early in his career before establishing himself as one of the game's top center fielders.
"They both have good speed, they don't have [Carlos] Gomez speed but they have great jumps, great routes and a great feel for where they are," Roenicke said. "Finley was more of a power guy but defensively, that's a real good comparison."
Roenicke added that even though Schafer is the Brewers' fourth outfielder, he considers the 26-year-old an elite defensive center fielder in the Major Leagues, saying, "I don't think there are too many better than him."
So far this spring, Schafer has played six games in left, nine in center and two in right. At the plate, he has collected 13 hits in 42 at-bats.
"A lot of times you have a guy who can go out there, but not at the level he is at," Roenicke said. "When Schafer starts at any of those positions, you know you're going to get a really good defender and he gives you a lot offensively too. It's nice to know, though, that when you put him out there, he's going to better or as good as any of the guys out there."
Last season with Triple-A Nashville, Schafer committed just three errors in 121 games.
Hip injury forces Green to sit out
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While Jeff Bianchi continues to miss time with hip and groin injuries, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke announced Thursday another of his infielders, Taylor Green, will sit out for at least a few days to recover from a hip issue he sustained Tuesday.
The players' injuries have the club unsure of its infield roster depth heading into Opening Day just 10 days away.
Green hurt his hip while taking batting practice before Tuesday's game against the Angels.
"He just felt something pinch, almost like a cramp, but it's more than that," Roenicke said. "He's done it before apparently and he'll be out a little bit. We'll see how long it's going to be."
Beginning camp with an inside track to a utility-man spot, Green has struggled at the plate, batting just .139 in 36 at-bats.
As for Bianchi, the 26-year-old's health problems have limited him to one game since March 2 and he doesn't appear to be improving at any sort of steady pace.
"Not from what I've heard, he wasn't a lot better yesterday," Roenicke said. "I'm just hoping one of these days he'll come in and be a lot better."
Roenicke added that the club will take a wait-and-see approach for the rest of camp before making roster decisions, but disabled-list stints are possible for the injured players.
• Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Wiener will be in Brewers camp Friday morning for his annual meeting with players. Chris Narveson, the team's union representative, said topics will likely include baseball's modified drug testing program and the potential expansion of instant replay. The Brewers recently re-elected Narveson as their player representative and Axford as assistant rep.
• Roenicke wants to see more of non-roster invitee catcher Blake Lalli this spring at first base and as a pinch-hitter before deciding if the team could use a roster spot on him moving into the regular season. The Brewers manager likes the versatility Lalli would give the club if it needs to use Jonathan Lucroy or Martin Maldonado earlier in games in run scoring situations.
"It allows us to pinch-hit Luc or Maldy, whichever isn't playing, when we have a chance to score runs," Roenicke said. "I would like to be able to use them but when you don't have another guy who can catch, you have to wait. Lalli frees us up if we have a guy who can go back there."
In 33 spring at-bats so far, Lalli has 12 hits including three doubles. He has played 12 games as a catcher and two as a first baseman.
• Lucroy could play in a Minor League game Friday to get some extra at-bats in, according to Roenicke.
• Non-roster reliever Donovan Hand ran his Spring Training scoreless inning streak to 11 innings Thursday with two frames against the White Sox. He worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth by inducing back-to-back groundouts.
• Center fielder Carlos Gomez left Thursday's game in the bottom of the third inning with a stiff back. Roenicke said, however, if it were the regular season, Gomez would've remained in the game.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.