Yost adds game to get relievers work
Gagne, Turnbow, McClung to face Brewers' Minor Leaguers
PHOENIX -- The fact the Brewers are stretching out so many starting pitchers will have an unfortunate consequence for some Minor Leaguers trying to ease their way into camp.Brewers manager Ned Yost tried to assemble a "B" game against the Mariners before Wednesday's scheduled afternoon matchup in Peoria, Ariz., but Seattle didn't bite. So, to make sure their pitchers get their work in, the Brewers plan to stage their own early morning game (9 a.m. MT) on a back field at Maryvale Baseball Park. Milwaukee's Minor League camp only opened this week. The young hitters have their work cut out for them. Scheduled to pitch are closer Eric Gagne, plus fireballing setup men Derrick Turnbow and Seth McClung. "We'll give them some nice, easy batting practice," Yost joked. After that, a screen will be wheeled out and the Minor League hitters will get a look at reliever Salomon Torres and starter Yovani Gallardo in a session of live batting practice. Torres has been on a program after experiencing a sore arm early in camp and Gallardo is working back from knee surgery, so neither is ready for game action yet. Torres should be ready to pitch in a game following Wednesday's session, and is on track to make six appearances in Cactus League games beginning later this week. Gallardo still needs work. "He'll need to do it a time or two or three," Yost said. In the loosely labeled "B" game, the plan is to extend McClung to about 45 pitches. Gagne and Turnbow will work an inning apiece, which typically means 20-25 pitches. With Brewers starters extending to four innings and beyond in Cactus League games, Yost will probably have to use pitchers in Minor League games throughout the final two-plus weeks of Spring Training so everyone gets their work in. For those scoring at home, don't even try. "If you do it over there, you can give them four or five hitters," Yost said. "You can do whatever you want to do."
Gagne already pitched once in a "B" game, though it was against Padres Minor Leaguers last week. He likes the "get in, get your work done, get out of there" schedule."It's the best," Gagne said. "Results don't matter over there so you can just get your work in." Turnbow surrendered a two-run home run to the A's Bobby Crosby in his Spring Training debut, but since then has worked three perfect innings in three appearances. He is working on a new fastball grip that has added movement to the pitch without sacrificing control. Pitching in Minor League camp will require an adjustment, Turnbow said. "It is different," he said. "You do get your work in, but the adrenaline and intensity is not that high in those games. You're still focused on doing what you need to do to get ready, so that doesn't change." Turnbow knows that intensity will not be a problem for the young hitters, who would love to make a mark against a big leaguer. "I'm going to treat it like a regular game, because those guys are going to try to hit it 800 feet," Turnbow said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.