Anderson 'grafetul' for spot in Crew's rotation

Braun gives daughter tour of clubhouse; Morales records scoreless inning

Anderson 'grafetul' for spot in Crew's rotation

PHOENIX -- When Reds third baseman Adam Duvall connected for a long, first-inning home run off Chase Anderson on Friday, it marked the fourth home run the Brewers right-hander had allowed in the span of five spring innings.

In the wake of a 7-6 loss to the Reds at Maryvale Baseball Park, did it represent cause for concern for Anderson and the team?

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"No, not really, because I know the mistake I made, and I know how to fix it," Anderson said.

Manager Craig Counsell has yet to announce the order of his five starting pitchers to begin the season, but he has been clear about who they are. Barring an injury, Anderson, acquired in a January trade with the D-backs, remains assured a spot alongside Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Matt Garza and Taylor Jungmann.

Counsell told Anderson where he stands when the two met at the start of camp, and that won't change after a handful of Spring Training homers.

"For me, personally, I like to always take it as if I'm earning a spot," Anderson said. "If you get complacent in this game, a lot of things can happen. All of a sudden, you're sitting on the couch watching the Brewers on TV instead of being in the dugout.

"But when they tell you something like that, it's always super humbling. You're excited and grateful for those opportunities, because the last few years, I've had to battle for a spot. Pitching in the big leagues is a dream for everybody, and [it was reassuring] coming in here and hearing they had traded for me for a reason."

Counsell brushed aside concerns about Anderson's shaky results. A changeup specialist who has been focusing in recent outings on honing his curveball grip, Anderson has surrendered 12 earned runs on 20 hits in 10 2/3 spring innings.

On Friday, he was charged with four runs (one earned) on seven hits in four innings, then threw 20 more pitches in the bullpen to extend his arm. Three of the runs against him were unearned in the first inning, including two on Duvall's two-out home run, after left fielder Ryan Braun dropped a fly ball at the warning track for an error.

"It's two or three [games] in a row where the first inning has got him a little bit," Counsell said. "After he gets through that first inning, he's been pretty good. … That's something Chase has to certainly be cognizant of."

Should Anderson falter, the Brewers' first line of defense is another right-handed changeup specialist, Zach Davies, who impressed in a September stint last season. Davies was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks in four innings of relief Friday, but "has had a really impressive camp," Counsell said.

He's essentially the Brewers' No. 6 starter.

"I do view Zach as that guy right now, yeah," Counsell said.

Family matters
Braun gave his young daughter, Celine, a tour of the Maryvale clubhouse on Friday. Perhaps because so many of the Brewers' players are too young to have children of their own, there have been no issues like the ongoing issue with the White Sox about kids in the clubhouse.

"We don't have a lot of kids on the team," Counsell said. "I am probably the person with kids in the target age range -- I have 12- and 10-year-old sons, and they'll be in the clubhouse. I think kids can make the clubhouse better for everybody, but I think there also has to be some responsibility with it.

"If we had more kids, we'd probably have to [enact a policy], but we haven't for a while. Since I've been here, we've just used common sense. We just respect each other."

Last call
Left-hander Franklin Morales made his Cactus League debut Friday by pitching a scoreless fifth inning against the Reds. He recorded two outs on two pitches, then walked a batter and surrendered a hit before escaping without allowing a run. 

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for 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.