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03/23/10 5:20 PM ET

Schoeneweis upset by Crew decision

'I didn't have a chance to make the team,' reliever says

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- An upset Scott Schoeneweis packed his bags and left Maryvale Baseball Park on Tuesday after Brewers officials informed him he would not make the team. Schoeneweis figures he never had a shot in the first place.

"The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time," Schoeneweis said. "I didn't have a chance to make the team. That's what I learned today."

The Brewers did not officially release Schoeneweis from his Minor League contract but announced to the media he, "was advised today that he would not be part of the Major League roster and is free to pursue other opportunities." General manager Doug Melvin said Schoeneweis would officially be released Thursday, the date specified in his contract on which he could elect free agency if not added to the 40-man roster.

Schoeneweis was removed from the Brewers' big league camp roster along with right-hander Tim Dillard, who returned to Minor League camp.

"We just told [Schoeneweis] we did not see him making our club," Melvin said. "We asked him to consider going to Triple-A but he was not interested. There are some teams out there looking for left-handed relievers."

Schoeneweis, 36, ostensibly was bidding to be a second left-hander in the Brewers' bullpen behind Mitch Stetter, but the numbers game worked against him. The team is looking at four pitchers for the final two spots in the starting rotation, and to preserve depth, at least one of those pitchers will likely begin the season in relief. Two of the four rotation candidates -- Chris Narveson and Manny Parra -- are left-handed.

Schoeneweis is attempting a comeback from a difficult year at home and on the field. His wife, Gabrielle, died suddenly last May while Schoeneweis was pitching for Arizona. He bounced between caring for his four young children and pitching for the D-backs for the rest of the season and ended up with a 7.12 ERA, the highest of his career.

In seven Cactus League appearances with the Brewers, Schoeneweis had a 7.71 ERA. That number can be particularly deceptive in Spring Training for left-handed specialists, because they are not used in lefty-on-lefty situations as they would be in the regular season.

"He did not face that many, but I am almost certain that he got every left-hander he faced out," said Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson. "Under different circumstances, this would have been a great fit. But Mitch [Stetter] did so well last year. He was one of the left-handed guys in the game. ... Schoeneweis is an effective big league pitcher without an opportunity here."

Schoeneweis signed with the Brewers on Feb. 9 after a conversation with Peterson, who was his pitching coach in 2007 and '08 with the Mets. They had another long conversation on Tuesday morning before Schoeneweis departed.

Schoeneweis said he would ask his agent, Scott Boras, to seek employment elsewhere, hopefully with a team near the West Coast so he could remain close to his children. The family lives in the Phoenix area.

"The positive I take out of this is I realize I can have fun again," Schoeneweis said. "I haven't had fun for a long time. I know 100 percent that I am a big league pitcher, bottom line. It would be a shame if this was it for me, because I feel like I did when I was 28. If there aren't any big league jobs out there, then I'll have to work something out that works for me and my family. I'm not going to toil around in the Minor Leagues."

He made that point several times. It's the big leagues or bust for Schoeneweis, who has limited left-handed hitters to a .227 average over parts of 11 Major League seasons.

"I'm a big league pitcher, and I shouldn't have to prove anything," Schoeneweis said. "This will be my 12th year in the big leagues, and I wasn't injured [last season]. I wasn't out of the game because my skills diminished. I just had to prove to myself that I wanted to play and [be sure] it was OK with my family. I am OK with all of those things.

"I appreciate the platform to come in and realize those things and to realize that I am a better version of myself than I have been for the last three or four years. It's just ironic that I can't get a job because my wife died. It doesn't make much sense to me."

He's going to stay in shape, and hopes a team will come calling.

"My skills haven't diminished. I don't have any health issues. I was dealing with a family tragedy off the field," Schoeneweis said. "I don't know how many people could have handled it better or even attempted what I attempted last year."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.