PHOENIX -- Don't expect Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke to pitch a fit if someone else gets the nod on Opening Day.For now, it appears manager Ron Roenicke has Greinke on a path to pitch the Brewers' second game of the season, on April 7 against the Cardinals. Yovani Gallardo is lined up for his third consecutive Opening Day. "They haven't told us anything yet, but I'm pretty easygoing about that," Greinke said Sunday after his spring debut. "We'll see. When they tell people, then we'll know. ... I think everyone in here will be fine with whatever Ron tells us to do. Like I've said a bunch, he's earned my respect enough to where whatever he wants to do, I'll go with him." He politely suggested that the beat reporters should find a new hobby. "If you guys already figured out the starters, people have a lot of time on your hands," Greinke said with a small smile. Pitching Sunday in relief of Randy Wolf, Greinke worked around three hits in two scoreless innings against a Giants split squad. Greinke threw all of his pitches but the slider, and managed to work in four cut fastballs. He has been working on that pitch in camp and is still deciding whether to make it a permanent part of his arsenal. "I guess I'm still not positive, but I threw four of them today, and three were good and one was not so good. So, that's not bad for a first start," Greinke said. "I don't think I threw any pitches good every time. It's definitely been getting better. It's got to keep continuing to get better." His camp is off to a better start than last year, when Greinke cracked a rib playing basketball. He was initially unaware of the extent of his injury and pitched in Cactus League games before shutting down to heal.
New voice joins Uecker in booth
PHOENIX -- Joe Block made his Brewers debut on Sunday. Not on the field at Maryvale Baseball Park, but up in the radio booth.Block, 34, is Hall of Famer Bob Uecker's new play-by-play partner on the Brewers Radio Network. "I think it's going to take me a little while to have it all second nature, to have a deep understanding of what everyone has been through the last 42 years, but eventually I think I'll get there," Block said. He's been doing his homework since the Brewers hired him just before Christmas. Block had a conversation with his predecessor, Cory Provus, who took the No. 1 radio job with the Twins in early November. He's had dinners with Uecker, who praised Block in the announcement trumpeting the hire as "a Midwest guy [who] wants to be in Milwaukee as a part of the Brewers." Block is a native of Roseville, Mich., and attended Michigan State. "[Uecker] is the kind of person who respects other people, and I obviously have a lot of respect for him," Block said. "And, believe it or not, I think our personalities, they jibe quite a bit. In time, it'll resonate a little bit that we're both in this because we love the game and we like to have fun." Uecker is entering his 42nd season calling games for his hometown Brewers and his 57th year in professional baseball. Block has been in camp since Tuesday, getting to know players and adding to his meticulously organized system of notes. Block has also had to learn the scoring system that Brewers broadcasters have used since Merle Harmon's days at the mic in the early 1970s. The baseball part should come easy. Block already has 10 years of broadcasting experience, most recently as a pre- and postgame host for the Dodgers and a radio-studio host for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets. He's called more than 900 Minor League games. Block will call more than 15 of the Brewers' Spring Training games, either on the Brewers Radio Network or MLB.com's exclusive webcasts, available via subscription. The web broadcasts will feature a mix of Block and TV partners Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder. "This is so much more of a laid-back environment, an environment I'm used to, doing so many of my games in the Minors," Block said. "This is the right size and pace and everything, and by the time we get into [the regular season] it will be all good. I'm excited about it."
Count MLB Players Association chief Michael Weiner among the very vocal fans of Craig Counsell, who is beginning a second career in the Brewers front office. Counsell had served for years on the MLBPA's executive board."I understand the Commissioner's job is already filled for the next couple of years by somebody else in Milwaukee," Weiner said, referring to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. "But for 'Counse,' the sky is the limit." It was notable that catcher Jonathan Lucroy handled Wolf's start on Sunday and not George Kottaras, who served most of the last two years as Wolf's personal catcher. Roenicke said he wants to pair Wolf with other catchers in camp in case Kottaras is unavailable at some point during the season. In the past, Wolf and Lucroy have appeared to struggle with signs and pitch selection. That was not the case Sunday, when Wolf retired all six hitters he faced. "It went great. It's always a lot better when you only face six hitters, but we work great," Wolf said. "Ron talked to me early and said, 'I want to get not only 'Luc,' but other catchers to catch you in Spring Training other than George,' even though George will most likely will be catching me during the year. His thought, which I think is correct, is that anything can happen in Spring Training. George could get a foul ball, or something crazy could happen. You don't want to start the season throwing a guy you haven't thrown to. I agreed with it 100 percent."