Brews’ Cactus League opener Thursday vs. A’s

The 2008 Milwaukee Brewers take the field for the first time Thursday, hosting the Oakland A’s in Maryvale. Claudio Vargas is skipper Ned Yost’s choice to start, and is slated to go two innings. In my last post, I speculated that Bush would get the nod over Vargas–and later thought that neither might no see any action as both pitched in the first intrasquad game on Tuesday.
But Vargas is the logical choice. The Brewers would still like to move a starting pitcher, and the more starts that they can give Vargas, the more they will know if his ’08 stuff is “rotation worthy,” or, if not, at least they will have given the other 29 teams a fairly decent sample size of innings and opponents to determine his worth.
The Crew played an intrasquad game on Tuesday, and will play another one today, on Wednesday. Tuesday’s game went 4½ innings, featured an 11-man lineup for both teams (two DH’s apiece), and the “home” team won, 2-1. McCalvy’s article noted that Bill Hall doubled to left, while Ryan Braun was in the field. Yost covered for Braun saying that he played it well, but reading between-the-lines tells me that Braun might have misplayed it (I didn’t see it…if any readers saw it, please let us know).
Jeff Suppan pitched an inning, getting all three hitters he faced to make an out, and is slated for the road game, also against the A’s, on Friday (I think…McCalvy wrote that Vargas was to start the Brewers’ opener on Friday…I’m guessing he got the day wrong). Regardless, Yost will use a lot of pitchers against the A’s over the two games; in the field, he’ll also use everyone he has…but look for Braun and Hall to get the majority of the time at their new positions to help speed up the learning process.

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