CINCINNATI -- The last man to win a spot on Milwaukee's Opening Day roster might not have to wait long to make his first Brewers start. Infielder/outfielder Erick Almonte might just be manager Ron Roenicke's choice to start in early-season games against left-handed pitchers.

The Brewers will face one either Saturday or Sunday in Cincinnati's Travis Wood, and considering that the Crew's other right-field options in the absence of Corey Hart all bat left-handed -- Mark Kotsay, Nyjer Morgan and Jeremy Reed -- the Brewers may turn to Almonte.

Brewers shake off snow to prep for opener

CINICNNATI -- A few snowflakes -- actually, a whole lot more than a few -- were not going to stop the Brewers from taking the field at chilly Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.

Players took their jackets and winter caps out of storage for a quick round of catch, some pitchers ran the warning track and Saturday starter Shaun Marcum threw from the bullpen mound during a light day-before-Opening Day workout. After a quick stretch, it was back to the cover of the clubhouse for the position players, who were originally to hit on the field, but instead took swings in the indoor batting cages.

"It's important to get out on the field, because we just came from Arizona and 85-degree weather," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Just to get them out there a little to run and throw. Once you're heated up, you're OK."

It reminded reliever Mitch Stetter of his days at Indiana State University.

"In college, we would peel off the tarp and there would be ice," Stetter said. "You would have to actually chisel the ice off the tarp, and the warning track would be ice. You just hoped the snow would melt."

The weather in Cincinnati this week is nothing like that. Wednesday's snow melted the instant it struck the ground.

"It was still pretty crazy," Stetter said. "I live in Arizona now, so it's been a while since I've seen the snow. It was good to get out there and run poles and kind of suck in the cold air."

Thursday's high is expected to reach 48 degrees. The Brewers and Reds are scheduled to play at 1:10 p.m. CT.

"We're used to 90 degrees and this was 40 degrees, but it felt good to get out and feel the cold," center fielder Carlos Gomez said. "We'll be more together [on Thursday]. I'm excited to start. I came here to go for it, and I have a feeling that this is going to be my year, and that's going to be true for everybody."

Hart, Lucroy to DL as Brewers set roster

CINCINNATI -- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin circled the visitor's clubhouse on Wednesday to congratulate each member of his Opening Day roster, and there were no last-minute surprises.

As expected, the Brewers placed outfielder Corey Hart and catcher Jonathan Lucroy on the 15-day disabled list, selected Erick Almonte's and Jeremy Reed's contracts from Triple-A Nashville and returned catcher Mike Rivera, infielder Edwin Maysonet and right-hander Mark DiFelice to Minor League camp.

Here's the roster for the Brewers' season-opener against the Reds on Thursday:

PITCHERS (12):
59 John Axford RHP
21 Zach Braddock LHP
49 Yovani Gallardo RHP
54 Sean Green RHP
61 Brandon Kintzler RHP
50 Kameron Loe RHP
18 Shaun Marcum RHP
52 Sergio Mitre RHP
38 Chris Narveson LHP
40 Takashi Saito RHP
57 Mitch Stetter LHP
43 Randy Wolf LHP

CATCHERS (2)
16 George Kottaras
33 Wil Nieves

INFIELDERS (6)
22 Erick Almonte
3 Yuniesky Betancourt
30 Craig Counsell
28 Prince Fielder
14 Casey McGehee
23 Rickie Weeks

OUTFIELDERS (5)
8 Ryan Braun
27 Carlos Gomez
25 Mark Kotsay
2  Nyjer Morgan
7 Jeremy Reed

STAFF
10 Ron Roenicke -- Manager
35 Garth Iorg -- First-base Coach
39 Rick Kranitz -- Pitching Coach
53 Stan Kyles -- Bullpen Coach
36 Jerry Narron -- Bench Coach
6 Ed Sedar -- Third-base Coach
31 John Shelby -- Outfield Coach
29 Dale Sveum -- Hitting Coach
56 Joe Crawford -- Coaching Assistant
55 Marcus Hanel -- Bullpen Catcher

DISABLED LIST (5)
13 Zack Greinke RHP
32 LaTroy Hawkins RHP
1 Corey Hart OF
20 Jonathan Lucroy C
26 Manny Parra LHP

All five of the injured players saw their DL stints backdated to March 22, meaning they will be eligible to return beginning April 6.

Mound work first step in long rehab for Greinke

CINCINNATI -- The Brewers expect injured starter Zack Greinke to begin throwing off a mound this weekend in Cincinnati or early next week in Milwaukee, but he's still weeks away from being activated from the disabled list and could miss all of April, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Greinke is on the DL with a cracked left rib, and his first mound session would represent a significant first step in a relatively long process. Other pitchers throw about 10 days of bullpen sessions before beginning to face hitters, and then Greinke would have to build his pitch count. In Spring Training, starters throw about 30 pitches in their first outing and increase in increments of 15 pitches per start every fifth day.

"It may be a little longer than what I thought it was going to be," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I figured by now that he would be throwing [off a mound] a while ago. But he still felt [discomfort] in his ribs, and they didn't want to do anything with him until that was gone."

As of Wednesday, Greinke was still building arm strength by throwing on flat ground.

Barring rainouts, the Brewers can get by with four starters in April except for April 6, 16 and 26.

Worth noting

Outfielder Brandon Boggs accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville and will join a Sounds outfield that also includes Brett Carroll, Caleb Gindl and Brendan Katin.