Milwaukee Brewers: First spring update

Sean Halton is in a battle to be an everyday starter at first.

Sean Halton is in a battle to be an everyday starter at first.

So, the Milwaukee Brewers began their spring break season on Wednesday.  So far they have seen some success as far as wins and losses go (not that it matters at all during spring training but it’s always nice to win.) Mitch Haniger is making moves early, he homered in the intrasquad game and against Oakland and has been playing pretty well in the limited action he has seen.

Anyway, to recap the spring action so far:

Brewers (11 ) versus Oakland (3): The first game of spring training is always exciting but it’s literally impossible to draw any long conclusions about it.  The highlight of this one was Ryan Braun’s homerun in the first inning (his first at bat since being suspended last season.)  As far as pitching goes Marco Estrada picked up the win and played pretty well.  He threw two innings giving up 2 earned runs and 2 walks.  Brewers fans should keep an eye on Estrada as he continues to battle for the last rotation spot this summer with Tyler Thornburg.   Another interesting stat line from this game was Ron Roenicke’s use of Juan Francisco, Mark Reynolds, and Lyle Overbay all in the lineup together (Francisco at first, Reynolds at third and Overbay at DH.)  I know that Reynolds played third with the Orioles so this lineup should’ve came as a huge surprise to me, but it may signal that Roenicke is open to playing around with Francisco at first which is a huge development.  If Francisco enters the discussion at first and Reynolds moves to third it’s almost impossible for me to see Sean Halton getting any time at first this season.

Brewers (3) versus San Francisco (4): Nothing to report here really.  One talking point from this game was that Scooter Gennett played the majority of the game at second.  This could be a sign that Gennett will take over the full time job when the season rolls around, but again this was the second spring training game.  Following the Sean Halton storyline from above, Halton saw action at left field in this one with Lyle Overbay and Hunter Morris doing the duties at first.

Brewers (6) versus Los Angeles (5): The Brewers had two games on this day so half the squad played in this one and half the squad played against the Diamondbacks.  Hunter Morris went hitless in two at bats at first, this is important because he has an outside chance of being the everyday first baseman this year.  Kyle Lohse was impressive, throwing two hitless innings but upstart Ariel Pena was less than impressive, giving up 4 walks.  Pena is working on making the roster and his performance against the Dodgers certainly didn’t help that, keep an eye out for Pena’s progression through the rest of the spring it should be an interesting story line.

Brewers (1) versus Arizona (2):  Very difficult to gleam anything from this one as the game only went five innings due to rain.  To follow a train of thought from above, Scooter Gennett manned second and went 0-3.  This game was also interesting because Sean Halton got the start at first.

Brewers (6) versus Colorado (5): Matt Garza had a somewhat rocky start to his spring giving up 4 runs in the first inning to the Rockies.  I’m not going to read too much into it was his first game in a Brewers uniform and he wasn’t exactly playing with the everyday roster behind him.  This will only be a story if he continues to struggle down the road.

Players on the rise: Mitch Haniger

Players on the decline: Ariel Pena

Players to watch: Lyle Overbay, Sean Halton, Hunter Morris, Juan Francisco, Mark Reynolds, Scooter Gennett and Rickie Weeks

Player not mentioned above but needs to be discussed: Khris Davis.  The 24 year old is trying to fill Ryan Braun’s old spot at left field.  He went hitless in the San Francisco game but did go 2 for 3 against Oakland.

Again, it is March 2nd.  Talk below about what you are seeing but from my end is pretty difficult to tell this early on.