Notes: Torres feeling better than ever
Veteran reliever, heeding trainers' advice, resting arm and body
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brewers reliever Salomon Torres was downright giddy following his latest bullpen session and declared himself, "ready to go."
Torres, who has taken it slow this spring because of a sore arm, threw his second bullpen session of the spring on Wednesday. He mixed in curveballs, split-fingered fastballs and sinkers, pitches that put more strain on the elbow than four-seam fastballs.
"According to the way I feel, I'm ready to go," Torres said. "But then again, I have to be a soldier and listen to the [training staff] because these people are doing miracles with my arm this year. It's amazing what a rest here and there can do to a body. I'm feeling very optimistic about the way I feel."
The Brewers' medical staff has Torres on a program similar to the one Francisco Cordero followed last spring. Both veterans had struggled with early spring soreness in recent seasons, and Cordero's 2007 success was a selling point to Torres.
Torres admits he was slow to admit soreness in years past. Not any more.
"I have treated myself differently than I have treated myself in the past," he said. "I'm listening a little bit more to the trainers and to my arm. In the past, even though I had a little ache and pain, tightness, I didn't say anything.
"I was just maintaining an image of a durable guy. This time, I was smart enough to do something different."
The next scheduled step is a batting practice session with hitters on Saturday. After that, Torres believes he would be ready to pitch in a game.
Play through it: Brewers right-hander Dave Bush had a euphemistic way of explaining where he was struck by a line drive Wednesday.
"I got hit in the back pocket," Bush said.
That would be his left back pocket, and it happened on Bush's third pitch to the first batter he faced, Texas infielder Michael Young. It went for an infield single and Bush stayed in the game, working a scoreless fourth inning but then surrendering a solo home run in the fifth and four more runs in the sixth. Only three of Texas' five runs against Bush were earned.
"I'm sure it will be black and blue tomorrow, but I needed to get my work in," Bush said after Milwaukee's 12-6 win. "It was OK, except for a handful of bad two-strike pitches. It's a situation where I was throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count. I'm just not making that last pitch when I get to 0-and-2."
Bush threw his full arsenal of pitches, but manager Ned Yost said he regretted making a change at catcher in the bottom of the sixth, when he relieved Jason Kendall with Minor Leaguer Andy Bouchie.
Man in the middle: Gabe Kapler has appeared in center field in 408 Major League games, but Yost said he needed to see it for himself.
"I think he can play center field," Yost said Wednesday morning. "I don't know it."
Kapler started in center for the first time this spring on Wednesday. He's one of three players -- Gabe Gross and Tony Gwynn Jr. are the others -- vying for starts in center field while Mike Cameron serves his 25-game suspension to start the season.
Plan in motion: The Brewers are not ready to announce Cameron's agenda during his 25-game absence. What is known is that Cameron can spend the final five games of his suspension playing at Triple-A Nashville and preparing to join the Brewers.
But what about the first 20 games? Will he remain in extended Spring Training? Will he travel with the Brewers? Will it be a combination of both?
"It will be just like I'm hurt," Cameron said without going into further detail. Usually, injured players remain in extended camp to play Minor League games.
Last call: Don't read anything into the fact that lefty Manny Parra started Wednesday's game ahead of Bush, Yost said. Bush started last time and Parra followed, so Yost is trying to even things out. ... Yost hinted again on Wednesday that he may be able to carry 13 pitchers on Opening Day because so many of the Brewers' positional starters are expected to play 150-plus games. The baseball staff will convene beginning next week to start discussing roster decisions. ... Right-hander Yovani Gallardo is still on track to throw off a mound on Thursday morning, his first such work since undergoing knee surgery last month. He is still a few mound sessions away from pitching in a game. ... Brewers players had their annual seminar on the importance of hydration Wednesday morning.
Up next: Ben Sheets, who was extremely sharp in his first spring start, will take the mound on Thursday against the Mariners at Maryvale Baseball Park. It's a matchup of aces, with righty Felix Hernandez scheduled to start for Seattle.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.