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Brewers open spring training with lots of familiar faces

PHOENIX (AP) — It didn’t consider lengthy for the Milwaukee Brewers to get started making the most of the added benefits of a $60 million renovation to their spring teaching facility.

As rain fell in Phoenix on Thursday, Milwaukee’s pitchers and catchers headed out to new lined mounds for the very first formal bullpen session of the spring.

“It’s magnificent,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell reported. “It’s certainly outstanding.”

The up grade is one particular of the several points that is new for the Brewers as they begin their quest to protect their Countrywide League Central Division title. With several exceptions — most notably catcher Yasmani Grandal — the gamers in the new clubhouse Thursday early morning were the same ones who still left the house clubhouse at Miller Park asking yourself what could have been right after a Recreation 7 reduction to the Dodgers in the NLCS.

Nonetheless, Counsell was fast to issue out that when last calendar year was distinctive, it is a new calendar year with new challenges and ambitions.

“This group — underline ‘this’ — has not achieved just about anything nonetheless,” Counsell reported. “This is a new group and we form of have to make our individual tracks here.”

That will involve new roles for some of Milwaukee’s returning gamers.

Erik Kratz will open camp third on the catching depth chart behind Grandal and Manny Pina, leaving him probable to open the standard season in Triple-A. It’s a complicated scenario for a person who contributed down the extend as significantly as Kratz did, but Counsell was assured the 39-calendar year-previous journeyman could handle the problem.

“He’s found a good deal, he understands a good deal and he’s capable of handling a good deal,” Counsell reported. “That’s why he’s continue to likely powerful at age 39 — for the reason that he’s equipped to adapt.”

Right-hander Junior Guerra will get stretched out throughout camp but appears headed for a bullpen role at the time the season commences. Guerra lost his location in the rotation right after enabling four runs about a few innings of a 9-4 victory about the Nationals on Sept. 2 but closed the season powerful, throwing six scoreless innings of relief and an additional 4 2/3 scoreless innings in the postseason.

Practically all people noted to camp balanced and prepared to go. Still left-hander Brent Suter, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is Milwaukee’s only unavailable player at this issue, when appropriate-hander Jimmy Nelson is established to throw his very first formal bullpen session Friday and infield prospect Mauricio Dubon is as close to whole toughness as attainable right after tearing his ACL last May well.

“We’re in a really balanced location,” Counsell reported. “So considerably, so excellent.”


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