CINCINNATI -- Injured Brewers starter Zack Greinke took part in an aggressive throwing session for the second straight day Sunday, and could throw off a mound during a week-long homestand that begins Monday.
"I'm hoping so, if everything goes right, the way we planned it," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said.
Mound work would mark a major milestone for Greinke because it would allow the Brewers to project his return to the starting rotation. He missed most of Spring Training after cracking a left rib playing pickup basketball.
But he is still weeks away from his Brewers debut. The typical pitcher throws about 10 days' worth of mound sessions before appearing in a Spring Training game, then makes five or six exhibition starts before he's ready to pitch in the regular season. Even if Greinke takes a more accelerated path, he's unlikely to pitch for the Brewers in April.
On Sunday, he played long toss and then came back in to about 60 feet and threw to bullpen coach Stan Kyles, who crouched like a catcher.
"The main thing is him feeling good," Kranitz said.
"Roger [Caplinger, Milwaukee's head athletic trainer] is still going to be cautious with him," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Just because the side feels better, you still have to be careful with the arm."
Fans should plan ahead for 'Super' homecoming
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers have released every detail for Monday's home opener but one: Who's throwing the ceremonial first pitch? It appears the secret is out.
Multiple members of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers have tweeted references to the Brewers' 2011 Miller Park debut against the Braves, including safety Nick Collins.
"Check me out on Opening Day," Collins wrote, "throwing the first pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers!!!"
Tight end Tom Crabtree revealed that about 20 Packers players would be taking part, including popular fullback John Kuhn and offensive lineman (and Miller Park batting practice veteran) Bryan Bulaga. Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers has a scheduling conflict and will not be in attendance, according to his buddy Ryan Braun, the Brewers' left fielder.Rodgers did re-tweet this from tight end Jermichael Finley: "Opening Day of MLB is around the corner... Let's Go Brewers."
Brewers officials have said only that, "Fans will want to ensure they are in their seats for a very special ceremonial first pitch. No additional details will be announced in advance."
The club did confirm that, per tradition, Joseph Attanasio, the father of Brewers principal Mark Attanasio, will sing the national anthem.
Brewers officials are asking their fans to plan ahead for what is always a busy day at the ballpark:
Consistent with recent years, the Brewers have arranged for overflow parking at Wisconsin State Fair Park for the home opener. In the likely event that Miller Park lots reach capacity, fans may take the 84th St. exit from I-94 and enter through gate No. 77. From there, they will see signage and staff directing them to the parking area. A $10 fee will cover vehicle parking and shuttle services are free.
Shuttle services are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. CT and will run for approximately 90 minutes after the game.
The repaving of a stretch of Interstate 94 through Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties will stretch into the early summer and could cause delays, especially for outbound traffic. For more information tailored specifically to arriving and departing Miller Park, visit the Miller Park tab at brewers.com.
Monday marks 10 years at Miller Park
CINCINNATI -- The Brewers will mark their 10th anniversary at Miller Park with Monday's home opener against the Braves.
The team's first regular-season game at their retractable-domed home was April 6, 2001, a 5-4 win over the Reds. With Wisconsin's Bruce Froemming calling balls and strikes, shortstop Jose Hernandez hit a three-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Jeromy Burnitz and Richie Sexson homered. Sexson's solo shot in the bottom of the eighth snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Brewers their first win after an 0-4 start on the road.
The Brewers are 408-402 in their 10 seasons at Miller Park, and Prince Fielder holds most of the ballpark's records, including home runs (99), RBIs (276) and runs (240). Geoff Jenkins has the most Miller Park hits, with 419, and Ben Sheets leads the pitchers with 44 wins.
Manager Ron Roenicke did something Saturday that his predecessor Ken Macha almost never did -- he pinch-hit for the catcher. Macha worried about being left with no backup catcher on the bench, but Roenicke said he'd use third baseman Casey McGehee in an emergency. ... Roenicke said it's "way too soon" to condemn the Brewers' defense. A missed tag by third baseman McGehee aided the Reds' winning rally on Thursday, and second baseman Rickie Weeks' one-hop throw that first baseman Prince Fielder couldn't handle Saturday gave the Reds an unearned run.