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Aramis excited to join potent lineup in Milwaukee

There will be a couple of familiar faces in different places at Wrigley Field this week.

Monday's contest against the Brewers will be Cubs skipper Dale Sveum's first regular-season game against his former team as head honcho of another club.

Sveum started his big league career in Milwaukee, where he played for six years, then later coached for six more. Sveum has downplayed the series.

"You've seen most of the guys," Sveum said. "It'll be good to see Bob Uecker again, and some of the guys behind the scenes who you're close with who you didn't get to see in Spring Training. It'll be nice to see some of those guys."

After serving as the Brewers' bench coach, third-base coach, interim manager and, finally, hitting coach, Sveum accepted the Cubs' offer last November to become the club's manager. He has adjusted to the bright lights of the big city, where people have started to recognize him.

"I've had it a few times, but nothing off the charts, by no means," Sveum said. "It'll happen more and more, not that you're putting yourself out there all the time. It's part of the game and being with the Chicago Cubs, that's part of it."

Sveum's final season in Milwaukee was Ron Roenicke's first as Brewers skipper.

"It'll be different," Roenicke said, "but I enjoy when I look over on the other side of the field and see people that I've been with and know. It's a great opportunity for him. I know what he's going through. We talked about it a little bit.

"I like the challenge of matching up with people I know," Roenicke said. "It's kind of fun to do, versus the person you don't know on the other side or [instances where] there is animosity over there. That's not fun. It'll be enjoyable because I like seeing Dale."

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez will also face his former club for the first time since inking a four-year contract with the Brewers during the offseason.

The two-time All-Star hit 239 home runs during his nine seasons in Chicago. He said he wasn't sure what kind of reception Cubs fans would offer.

"I don't know. That's a good question," Ramirez said. "I had a great career there. I played for some good teams and also played for some bad teams. I guess you have to ask the fans."

Brewers: Braun could face harsh reception
Ramirez knows Cubs fans well. After all, he played in Chicago from 2003-11. The Brewers' third baseman expects a critical reception for teammate Ryan Braun from fans at Wrigley Field on Monday -- and at every road venue Milwaukee plays at throughout the season.

Braun successfully appealed a suspension during the offseason after testing positive for a banned substance.

"I think it's going to be ugly for Braun everywhere we go," Ramirez said. "On the road, it's going to be tough for him. He knows it. That's no secret. Plus, he got a taste of it in Spring Training. Everywhere we go, he was getting booed."

Braun hit his first home run of the season in the ninth inning of Sunday's 9-3 loss to the Cardinals.

Cubs: Volstad to make Cubs debut
Chicago acquired right-hander Chris Volstad from the Marlins over the winter for capricious hurler Carlos Zambrano.

Volstad will make his Cubs debut Monday against Milwaukee.

The Cubs lost two of three to the Nationals in their opening series, but Volstad liked what he saw from the Windy City supporters.

"Opening weekend was awesome here, and something I've never seen before," Volstad said. "I'm ready to get going now and get that first game, and get the season started."

Worth noting
• The Brewers won 10 of their 16 meetings with the Cubs last season.

• Brewers right fielder Corey Hart hit his third home run in as many games on Sunday. He hit 26 roundtrippers last season. Comments