Aguilar pushing to earn final roster spot

First baseman's fate likely depends on number of pitchers

Aguilar pushing to earn final roster spot

Editor's Note: MLB.com took a stab at the Brewers' Opening Day roster before the start of Spring Training, and again at the halfway point of Cactus League games. With 10 days to go, here's another look:

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jesus Aguilar's big Spring Training prompted the Brewers to try something new Friday, one of several signs they are seriously considering the slugger for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pina powers offense, but Milone struggles

Pina powers offense, but Milone struggles

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A pitching matchup between starters hoping to crack their respective teams' Opening Day rotations developed into an offensive outburst, as the Reds outlasted the Brewers, 12-11, on Friday at Goodyear Park, capped by a two-run, walk-off double by Arismendy Alcantara.

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart went 3-for-4 with a leadoff homer, part of a four-run first inning against Brewers starter Tommy Milone, who gave up seven earned runs on nine hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings and struck out three.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burgos returns to camp with silver medal

Brewers righty played for Puerto Rico in World Baseball Classic

Burgos returns to camp with silver medal

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Right-hander Hiram Burgos returned to Brewers camp on Friday with gold hair and a silver medal.

Burgos' bleach-blond look was a hint that he played in the World Baseball Classic for Team Puerto Rico, which reached the finals before falling to the United States. Burgos pitched three times in the tournament, including an inning in Wednesday's 8-0 loss to the U.S.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Ray returns to game action after surgery

Prospect Ray returns to game action after surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brewers outfielder Corey Ray transitioned from rehabber to player this week, appearing in a game for the first time since undergoing knee surgery last season.

Ray, Milwaukee's No. 2 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, was cleared for participation on Wednesday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who repaired a meniscus tear in Ray's left knee in October. Ray played three innings in the field and had two at-bats in Class A Advanced Carolina's Spring Training game on Thursday with no ill effects.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pina, Marinez make first Opening Day roster

Both Brewers players are out of options

Pina, Marinez make first Opening Day roster

MESA, Ariz. -- Brewers catcher Manny Pina will turn 30 years old in June, and he has played parts of 12 Minor League seasons in a professional career he nearly cut short three years ago while in Double-A.

So, when Pina and fellow out-of-options player Jhan Marinez were informed Wednesday that they had made their first big league Opening Day roster, it was much more than a mere formality.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yount, Gantner return to Brewers' camp

Former Crew duo offers advice to young players

Yount, Gantner return to Brewers' camp

MESA, Ariz. -- They wore Brewers uniforms on Thursday with their names on the back, as if that was really necessary.

They were The Kid and Gumby, Robin Yount and Jim Gantner, two of the most recognizable faces in Brewers history, making their first spring appearances at Maryvale Baseball Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guerra roughed up in short outing vs. A's

Guerra roughed up in short outing vs. A's

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's counted off four home runs against Brewers Opening Day starter Junior Guerra, including two from Yonder Alonso, in a 15-5 slugfest at Hohokam Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Alonso's first homer, a two-run blast to right field, was part of a five-run second inning that also included a home run from infield prospect Max Schrock. Then, Trevor Plouffe and Alonso hit back-to-back homers in the third, giving Alonso four long balls this spring -- more than half of his 2016 regular-season total (seven).

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Williams to have Tommy John surgery

Right-hander has been sidelined since March 7 with elbow pain

Prospect Williams to have Tommy John surgery

MESA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Devin Williams, the Brewers' top Draft pick in 2013, underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday and will miss the 2017 season, farm director Tom Flanagan confirmed. MLB.com's Jim Callis first reported Williams needed the procedure.

Williams had been sidelined since March 7, when he exited a Minor League intrasquad game with pain in his right elbow. He was examined the next day by Brewers head physician William Raasch, then received a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews before agreeing to surgery.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Counsell unfazed by Feliz's spring struggles

Reed to start season in Double-A; Stearns doesn't rule out adding to roster

Counsell unfazed by Feliz's spring struggles

PHOENIX -- The Brewers' new closer has not worked a clean inning in two weeks, but manager Craig Counsell believes that Neftali Feliz will pitch better once he begins pitching more.

"I have no concerns, really," Counsell said. "He's throwing hard. It's in there."

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nelson allows 2 hits over 5 2/3; Aguilar homers

Nelson allows 2 hits over 5 2/3; Aguilar homers

PHOENIX -- Denard Span and Jae-gyun Hwang each hit a two-run home run, Hwang's a go-ahead shot during a three-run seventh inning, and the Giants beat the Brewers, 6-4, on Wednesday at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson pitched effectively into the sixth inning and was in line for the win before the Giants rallied with two outs in the seventh against reliever Carlos Torres. Tim Federowicz doubled home a run to tie the game at 4, and Hwang followed with a homer to right field.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers release veteran reliever Chamberlain

Right-hander had a 3.38 ERA over eight Cactus League appearances

Brewers release veteran reliever Chamberlain

PHOENIX -- Joba Chamberlain has experienced most everything baseball has to offer, from winning the World Series as a Yankees phenom to being released last year by the Indians. But Wednesday brought a new one: The Brewers cut the veteran right-hander from a Minor League deal and made Chamberlain a surprise free agent 11 days before the first game of the 2017 regular season.

"I've never gone through this before, so just add this to another chapter of the whole thing," Chamberlain said after packing up his locker at Maryvale Baseball Park. "Obviously this is going on a lot right about now, so I'll weigh the options and go from there."

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blazek leads latest round of Brewers cuts

Right-hander was working on throwing more fastballs this spring

Blazek leads latest round of Brewers cuts

PHOENIX -- Brewers reliever Michael Blazek was shaken by a Wednesday-morning demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs, a move that surprised the right-hander and cut short his bid for a third straight Opening Day roster spot.

In the latest round of camp cuts, Blazek was optioned to the Minor Leagues along with infielder Yadiel Rivera and outfielder Michael Reed. Rivera will play every day at Colorado Springs. Reed, No. 28 on MLBPipeline.com's list of Milwaukee's top prospects, was told he is headed to Double-A Biloxi because of a logjam of outfield prospects at Triple-A.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garza sharp, Pina hammers 3-run HR

Garza sharp, Pina hammers 3-run HR

PHOENIX -- Hyun-Jin Ryu fired four scoreless innings and singled in a run for the Dodgers, but Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina slugged a three-run homer in a 5-4 Brewers win Tuesday at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Ryu, trying to reclaim his rotation spot after two years of injuries, allowed one hit with two strikeouts. In the the fourth with runners on the corners and two outs, Ryu bounced a single up the middle to chase Milwaukee starter Matt Garza and break a scoreless tie.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

WBC '17 learning experience for Villar

Brewers 2B sees limited action, but watches how stars prepare

WBC '17 learning experience for Villar

PHOENIX -- Jonathan Villar established himself as an everyday player last season, playing in 156 games for the Brewers and wants to be on the field as much as possible.

However, in the World Baseball Classic, that was not the case. On a star-studded Dominican Republic roster, Villar was relegated to a bench role, receiving just five at-bats in three games.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Denson, first openly gay active player, retires

MLB's Bean lauds Brewers for setting 'wonderful example'

Denson, first openly gay active player, retires

PHOENIX -- David Denson, the first active player in affiliated professional baseball to come out as gay, has announced his retirement.

"I want to thank all of you for the amazing love and support over the years," the Brewers' Minor Leaguer wrote on Facebook on Monday. "But my baseball journey has come to an end. Even though my baseball journey has ended, a new door is opening and I will continue to push forward!"

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Changeup becoming part of Garza's repertoire

Brewers righty K's five Dodgers in 'very good outing'

Changeup becoming part of Garza's repertoire

PHOENIX -- Matt Garza continues to get comfortable with his changeup and turned in arguably his best Spring Training start Tuesday in the Brewers' 5-4 win over the Dodgers.

After not striking out a batter in his first four starts, Garza fanned two in the first inning and finished with five. The 33-year-old right-hander gave up hits to two of the first three batters faced, before settling down and retiring seven in a row.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Family central to Arcia's rise to Brewers

Family central to Arcia's rise to Brewers

PHOENIX -- The Brewers' 2010 crop of international signees included a pair of Venezuelan shortstops. The following spring, they were both sent to the team's academy in the Dominican Republic, and when they arrived for a workout, the manager there, Nestor Corredor, sent one out to shortstop and the other to second base. Later, he was shocked when the second baseman, a skinny 16-year-old, stormed into his office in a huff.

His name was Orlando Arcia.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Davies cruises in strong start vs. Giants

Davies cruises in strong start vs. Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies maintained a perfect game through four innings Sunday as the Brewers downed the San Francisco Giants, 6-4, in a Cactus League exhibition.

Davies, Milwaukee's projected No. 2 starter who entered the game with a 7.27 ERA, lost his perfecto when Brandon Belt singled to open the fifth inning. Eduardo Nunez added an infield single, but Davis escaped the inning unscathed. He ultimately lasted 5 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out six.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez racks up 3 RBIs in return from Classic

Brewers utility man has big game after hurrying back from playing for Venezuela

Perez racks up 3 RBIs in return from Classic

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Hernan Perez loves playing baseball, so much so he hitched a ride overnight from San Diego to Phoenix to join the Brewers for their Sunday afternoon matchup with the Giants.

Perez had been away from the Brewers for more than a week, playing for Venezuela in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Venezuela, eliminated from the tournament, played its final game in the second round Saturday afternoon, so Perez packed up his things and had his brother-in-law drive him from Petco Park to Arizona.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Classic a must-watch for Crew camp

Pitchers Lopez, Burgos playing for Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands on Monday

Classic a must-watch for Crew camp

PHOENIX -- The Peoria, Ariz., apartment shared by Brewers teammates Rene Garcia, Yadiel Rivera and Domingo Santana becomes a World Baseball Classic viewing party spot whenever Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic is on.

They watched a thriller Saturday night, when the D.R. was eliminated by Team USA in a game that sent the U.S. on to the semifinals. Among the other three teams still standing is Puerto Rico, which features Brewers pitchers Hiram Burgos and Jorge Lopez.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pina, Wren launch three-run blasts vs. Cubs

Pina, Wren launch three-run blasts vs. Cubs

PHOENIX -- Anthony Rizzo responded to a pair of high-and-tight pitches by hitting a solo home run in the first inning, but the Brewers struck back with a pair of three-run shots in a 13-7 win over a split Cubs squad Saturday at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Manny Pina hit a three-run homer in Milwaukee's four-run first inning, and outfield prospect Kyle Wren hit another three-run shot in a four-run third. Pina's home run was his second in as many days as he continues a bid for an Opening Day roster spot at catcher.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guerra's rise continues with Opening Day nod

Right-hander didn't make Brewers roster for last season's opener

Guerra's rise continues with Opening Day nod

PHOENIX -- Last season, Junior Guerra did not even crack the Brewers' Opening Day roster. This season, he is the team's pick to start on Opening Day.

Guerra's assignment against the Rockies at home on April 3, announced by manager Craig Counsell on Saturday before Guerra got his work in a Minor League game, continues the 32-year-old's stunning rise from six years out of affiliated baseball to the top of Milwaukee's starting rotation.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefties Thames, Shaw face slew of southpaws

Brewers want corner infielders to prepare for all situations

Lefties Thames, Shaw face slew of southpaws

PHOENIX -- Eric Thames returned to the Brewers' lineup Saturday after sitting out a game with a sore right knee, and he saw something he's seen less than expected this spring: a right-handed pitcher.

Both of the Brewers' left-handed additions to the lineup -- first baseman Thames and third baseman Travis Shaw -- have been fed a steady diet of left-handed pitching this spring, a challenge both players said they welcome. Thames homered off Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery on Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz., and Shaw homered against D-backs southpaw Robbie Ray two days later at Maryvale Baseball Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braun, Pina go yard, Nelson strikes out 6

Braun, Pina go yard, Nelson strikes out 6

PHOENIX -- Ryan Braun and Manny Pina both hit their first spring home runs for the Brewers, and Christian Colon went deep for the Royals as the teams combined for eight runs in the first inning and a half Friday at Maryvale Baseball Park, where the Royals emerged 8-5 victors.

Alex Gordon had a pair of run-scoring hits for the Royals, including a single in Kansas City's go-ahead fourth inning, while the aptly named Ryan O'Hearn and Peter O'Brien combined for three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs on St. Patrick's Day.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nelson getting a grip on new split-change

Nelson getting a grip on new split-change

PHOENIX -- He grips the baseball like a circle changeup, only with his index finger and middle finger farther apart than usual. This is Jimmy Nelson's split-change, a new pitch he has refined this spring and expects to incorporate more this season.

"I feel like I have an equal amount of confidence in all of my pitches now," Nelson said. "Whereas before, it would be like, 'OK, my most confidence is in my fastball, then my breaking stuff, and then my changeup was last.' I would throw it in situations not to get hurt.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thames scratched; Broxton exits with sore wrist

Thames scratched; Broxton exits with sore wrist

PHOENIX -- The Brewers scratched first baseman Eric Thames from the lineup with a sore right knee, then saw center fielder Keon Broxton exit with pain in his right wrist after three innings of Friday's 8-5 loss to the Royals at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Manager Craig Counsell characterized both issues as minor. Both players were deemed day-to-day.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brinson, Phillips, Cordell sent to Triple-A

Brinson, Phillips, Cordell sent to Triple-A

PHOENIX -- Opening Day of Minor League Spring Training games meant the end of big league camp for three of the Brewers' top outfield prospects. Lewis Brinson, Ryan Cordell and Brett Phillips were optioned to the Minors on Friday.

The trio -- Brinson No. 1 on MLBPipeline.com's list of Milwaukee's top prospects, Phillips No. 10 and Cordell No. 16 -- will form the core of a Triple-A Colorado Springs outfield that could also include No. 28 Michael Reed and former top prospect Kyle Wren, who is coming off a solid season, but was bumped from the list by recent arrivals.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roster decisions still to come for Brewers

Battle for rotation spots undecided with crowded mix

Roster decisions still to come for Brewers

Editor's Note: More than a month has passed since MLB.com took its first crack at predicting the Brewers' Opening Day roster, and not much has changed. Here is an updated look at where things stand:

PHOENIX -- With two weeks left in the Cactus League, the Brewers face the same welcome problem: Too many starting pitchers for too few spots.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shaw, Aguilar homer to power Brewers past D-backs

Shaw, Aguilar homer to power Brewers past D-backs

PHOENIX -- Travis Shaw started the Brewers' scoring with a booming home run, high off the batter's eye. Ryan Braun put them back in front with a pop-up that landed all of 10 feet from home plate.

Both methods of offensive production were effective enough in Milwaukee's 8-5 win over Arizona on Thursday at Maryvale Baseball Park, where Shaw and Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers and Daniel Descalso and David Peralta of the D-backs all went deep.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braun's Spring Training comment draws reaction

Braun's Spring Training comment draws reaction

PHOENIX -- The gaggle of reporters thought Ryan Braun was kidding, but the Brewers outfielder said he was serious when he uttered the quote that would go on to make the social media rounds Thursday.

It was Braun being Braun, at least when it comes to Spring Training.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.