ANAHEIM -- The Brewers began an Interleague series against the Angels for the first time in six years on Monday. The last time these teams met, they made it worth the price of admission.In that series opener on June 8, 2004, Ben Sheets was nearly perfect over nine innings and the Brewers and Angels stayed locked in a scoreless tie until the 17th, when Scott Podsednik's double gave Milwaukee a 1-0 win. Craig Counsell scampered home from first base to score the only run. "Did I?" Counsell asked Monday. "I don't remember that. What I do remember is that Ben Sheets pitched a great game and Vladimir Guerrero hit a ball through the hole. I was mad I didn't get it." Guerrero golfed a low pitch between shortstop and third base for a single with two outs in the seventh inning, the only hit off Sheets in nine dazzling innings. It was one of only four Angels hits all night, off six Brewers pitchers. Brewers hitters, meanwhile, matched a Major League record by striking out 26 times, and Geoff Jenkins went 0-for-7 while becoming the eighth player to whiff six times in one game. The Brewers have not played a game longer than 15 innings since that night.
Top pick Covey and crew meet Brewers
ANAHEIM -- Brewers first-round Draft pick Dylan Covey donned the team's uniform for the first time on Monday. The right-hander, along with his parents and his two older brothers, made a 45-minute drive south from Pasadena, Calif., to visit with Milwaukee players before their Interleague series against the Angels.Before he gets into uniform for real, Covey and the Brewers have to come to terms on a contract. Negotiations have yet to begin, said Dylan's father, Darrell Covey, who is handling talks to help preserve his son's amateur status. Dylan Covey has a scholarship offer from the University of San Diego. "Dylan wants to play and they want him," Darrell Covey said. "That's as much as I know right now. ... I just believe we are going to get it done. The Brewers feel like a great fit, I don't know why that is. Sometimes, something will happen in your life and as time goes on, you'll start having doubts. With this, as time is going on, it feels better and better every day. It's not a done deal yet, but we're very optimistic." His son echoed that enthusiasm. "Not that I look at it and try to see myself with another team, I can't do it," Dylan Covey said. "Milwaukee might be the perfect fit for me." Darrell Covey spoke Sunday morning via telephone with Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid, who is in the Dominican Republic looking at players. The Coveys are not expecting the Brewers to make an initial offer until the middle of the next week at the earliest. Previous reports have set the parameters for negotiations. The signing bonus recommended by Major League Baseball for the 14th selection is about $1.7 million. Dylan Covey told the Pasadena Star-News on Draft night that he hopes his bonus has "a two in front of it." He stood by that request on Monday. The sides have until Aug. 16 to find middle ground. "The Brewers have been pretty clear that they are not going to try to pull any strings, and we're not going to do that either," Dylan Covey said. "I think we're going to get the job done pretty quick." The Covey clan on Monday included Dylan; his parents, Darrell and Angela; and two older brothers, Brian and Nathan. Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash helped show Covey around with West Coast crosschecker Corey Rodriguez and area scout Dan Huston. The first big leaguer to walk up and offer congratulations was Trevor Hoffman. In his senior season at Maranatha High School, Covey went 7-1 with a 0.40 ERA and three saves with 138 strikeouts compared to 20 walks in 70 2/3 innings pitched. "I think I'm ready to go," he said.
Two top picks from 2009 Draft demoted
ANAHEIM -- While the Brewers' most recent first-round Draft pick got a taste of the big leagues on Monday, his predecessor was headed down to the lowest level of stateside professional baseball.Twenty-two-year-old Eric Arnett, a right-hander selected 26th overall by the Brewers in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was demoted to the Rookie Level Arizona League after going 0-7 with a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts at Class A Wisconsin. The Brewers announced the move on the same day their first-round pick in 2010, prep right-hander Dylan Covey, met the team at Angel Stadium. "I don't think there's any question that [Arnett] is a personality who is trying to live up to the reputation of being a No. 1 Draft pick," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. "Having to deal with the spotlight and the expectation, that's something that I don't think he's really comfortable with. "This will give him a nice break ... even though everyone, and I mean everyone, from the clubhouse men to the bus driver to the general manager, have told him to relax and just have some fun. We'll get him a break, get him energized, and get him back where he should be."
Arnett, a hard thrower at Indiana University, worked with diminished velocity in most of his outings this year and allowed 11 home runs in 56 1/3 innings while opponents hit him at a .298 clip, including .340 by right-handed batters. He last pitched on Saturday against Dayton and allowed seven runs, only three of them earned, on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.Arnett's velocity "is selectively down," Ash said. "If you look at the game reports, there are pitches that he throws with the same kind of velocity that out scouts saw in college. He just doesn't do it consistently, for whatever reason. There have been 94[-mph pitches] on the game reports." The Brewers also demoted their second pick in last year's Draft. Outfielder Kentrail Davis, selected in the supplemental first round out of the University of Tennessee, 39th overall, was transferred one step down from Class A Brevard County to Wisconsin. He batted .244 with a .380 on-base percentage and 17 RBIs in 33 games at Brevard County. "He has struggled with health, staying healthy with his legs," Ash said. "[Farm director Reid Nichols'] thinking was trying to get him in a little cooler weather without the heat and humidity. See if that makes any difference."
Reliever Todd Coffey was eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Monday but was not quite ready. He is to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday to test his bruised right thumb and, assuming that goes well, he could make a one-inning rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and be activated during the Brewers' weekend series in Colorado. ... Former Brewers right-hander Jeff Suppan officially signed with the Cardinals on Monday and is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Mariners. The Brewers released Suppan on June 7 despite owing him more than $10 million through the end of the calendar year, and by Thursday he had the parameters of a deal in place with division rival St. Louis. ... Brewers manager Ken Macha was to have lunch Tuesday with a former Brewers manager Buck Rodgers. When Macha was on the Angels' coaching staff from 1992-94, Rodgers was the skipper. ... Jonathan Lucroy should be back behind the plate Tuesday night after George Kottaras started at catcher Monday for the second straight game. "We'll see how Jonathan does," Macha said. "I'm leaning toward giving him the brunt of the work." ... According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, right-hander Austin Ross agreed to terms with the Brewers. Ross, who had one year of eligibility remaining at LSU, was Milwaukee's eighth-round Draft pick.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.