The Brewers held their annual On Deck event in Milwaukee on Sunday and several notable items came out of the days festivities.
LOPEZ TO PITCH IN WBC
2016 was not the season many had hoped for from pitcher Jorge Lopez as he struggled with to command his stuff in Colorado Springs before moving down to Biloxi to finish out the year. He got things right over the winter however, dominating in winter league action and his hard worked payed off as Lopez confirmed that he would be pitching for his native Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The games kick off on Monday, March 6th and conclude with the Championship round taking place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles from March 20th-22nd.
HOUSER ON COMEBACK TRAIL
Another Brewers pitcher looking for better results in 2017 is 23-year-old righty Adrian Houser who underwent Tommy John surgery last July. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Houser has been rehabbing in Maryvale and began playing catch on flat ground about three weeks ago with hopes of returning to the mound by either May or June. That timetable would put him well ahead of standard Tommy John recovery which generally ranges from 12-18 months.
BREWERS LOOK TO PURCHASE MUDCATS
Perhaps the biggest story to come out of today’s event was that the Brewers have been in negotiations to purchase their High-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats. After suffering through some less than ideal playing conditions with Brevard County and Colorado Springs over the past few seasons, this comes as welcome news and seems like a great step in the right direction for an organization that will need to rely on a strong farm system to sustain success in the future.
SCOOTER ON THE MOVE
When it was announced that Jonathan Villar would be making the move to second base, many expected that Scooter Gennett, the incumbent at the keystone, would be dealt prior to the start of the season. From the sound of things today however, it appears that rather than moving on to another team, Gennett will simply be moving around the diamond. He’ll play several different positions this spring, including spending some time in the outfield. Some may recall that Gennett was initially drafted as a shortstop and began his pro career there before shifting to second base and any versatility he can add will help increase his value to the 2017 Milwaukee Brewers.