Spring Training Report: 3/14/2014

Catcher Michael Turay was selected by the Brewers in the 24th round of the 2012 draft.  (Photo: Brad Krause)
Catcher Michael Turay was selected by the Brewers in the 24th round of the 2012 draft. (Photo: Brad Krause)

TURAY HOPES TO CATCH ON IN WISCONSIN

At first glance, Michael Turay’s 2013 season looks pretty similar to his 2012.

The catcher from California hit .255 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI in 2012. In 2013 he hit .256 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI.

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Turay showed a much better eye at the plate, striking out just 16 times in 90 plate appearances, and cut his error total down from 12 in 2012 to just 4 in 2013.

The team success that Helena enjoyed was also a welcome change from the previous season for the young backstop.

“Last year was a great experience” Turay said. “After finishing last in the league the year before, getting the opportunity to make it to the championship series was awesome. It was tough coming up one game short, but it was a great year for all of us. There’s a good chance we will get a shot at it again at the next level.”

With a trio of other catchers – including Clint Coulter, Dustin Houle and Jack Cleary – making their way through Helena last season, playing time was tough to come by for Turay, but he did his best to take advantage of the opportunities he was given.

“It can definitely be difficult to be consistent when your not in the lineup everyday” he said. “But that is no excuse, you’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunity you get and make the best of it. That’s something I definitely did better last year than the previous year. Baseball is the hardest sport fundamentally, so the more you play the better you get. But you can learn a lot from watching, always have to take advantage of learning from situations on the field whether you’re playing or not.”

After spending the past two seasons at Helena, Turay has been working hard this offseason and is looking to make the jump to a full-season team in 2014.

“Basically just worked on getting bigger faster and stronger” said Turay. “It’s tough to maintain during the year so you’ve really got to work hard in the offseason. Also lots of catching drills so I’m ready to go for spring training. Hitting-wise I just tried to keep my swing mechanics consistent so I’m ready to roll into live pitching. My main goal as of now is to take advantage of every opportunity in spring training and break camp in April. I want to keep moving up levels every year and I need to perform well to do that. I think I’ve improved a lot defensively, and my goal is to keep proving I’m a great catcher.”

BIG LEAGUIN’

On the Major League side, the Brewers rallied from a 6-2 deficit to beat the Arizona DiamondBacks 9-8 in 10 innings on Friday afternoon. Sean Halton, Aramis Ramirez and Logan Schafer each had two hits for Milwaukee, and Jonathan Lucroy belted his first home run of the spring. Infielder Brandon Macias and outfielder Michael Ratterree were brought over from minor league camp for the game. Macias replaced Ramirez at third base and went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Ratterree entered in left field, replacing Schafer, and went 0-for-1.

ON THE MOVE

The Brewers made a handful of moves following their game today. First baseman/outfielder Sean Halton, and pitchers Mike Fiers and Hiram Burgos were all optioned to Triple-A Nashville. In addition, outfielder Kevin Mattison, infielder Eugenio Velez, catcher Matt Pagnozzi and pitcher Dustin Molleken were all returned to minor league camp.

ON DECK

The Brewers square off with the Arizona DiamondBacks affiliates on Saturday. The Double-A and Triple-A squads will play their first home games of the spring as Nashville plays host to the Reno Aces and Huntsville welcomes the Mobile BayBears to Maryvale Baseball Park. Meanwhile, the Brevard County Manatees and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will travel to Salt River Fields to take on the Visalia Rawhide and the South Bend Silver Hawks. All four games have a 1 pm start time.

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