Brewers unlikely to make another big addition
GM Stearns anticipates going into season with current group
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Brewers were active during the past offseason, both in making deals and making appearances in the rumor mill.
Not all reports were accurate, general manager David Stearns indicated during a recent radio interview. Additionally, the chatter that the Brewers might be in the mix to sign one of the still-available free-agent pitchers might be slightly -- or greatly -- exaggerated.
During an appearance on 105.7 "The Fan" on Monday, Stearns indicated that though he and his staff are keeping up on the not-quite-finished Hot Stove season, there is a good chance they won't be adding pieces before the regular season begins in a few weeks.
"My expectation is that our significant moves, whether it's trade or free agency, have probably come and gone," Stearns said during the interview. "Having said that, it would be foolish of us not to at least understand where the market is on any available player, whether that player is being shopped by another team or that player is out there on the open market. That's why I never say never, but I will reiterate that I anticipate that we go into the season with the current group we have."
During the past several months, the Brewers were reported to have interest in one or more free agents. The available talent still features several unsigned pitchers, including Jacob Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.
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They were also rumored to be interested in Yu Darvish, who eventually signed with the Cubs.
Without naming specific player, Stearns threw a bit of cold water on a lot of the Hot Stove talk.
"This offseason in particular there has been more, I would say frankly, false speculation of us than I have seen previously," he said during his 105.7 interview. "There's always a segment of the rumor mill that I read and I scratch my head a little bit and wonder where that came from, [but] this offseason there was a higher percentage of that.
"I tend to assume it's because there was so little activity around baseball, we were one of the clubs that were actually making moves, and so because we were active in certain fronts, writers picked up on that, baseball personalities picked up on that, and we were rumored in a number of situations. Some of it was true, a lot of what was rumored over the winter frankly was not."
Two big moves Milwaukee did make during the offseason included signing free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year deal and acquiring outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins. The Brewers also added free-agent relievers Boone Logan and Matt Albers.
Wade Miley, one of six pitchers vying for the final two spots in the Brewers' rotation, struck out four over 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday against the White Sox. He yielded three runs, all unearned, due to two throwing errors by shortstop Orlando Arcia.
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Miley has not yielded an earned run in three appearances this spring.
"I thought he was really sharp again today," manager Craig Counsell said following the Brewers' 6-4 loss to the White Sox. "Three baserunners in four innings ... it was a very good outing for sure."
Miley indicated his efforts to simplify his mechanics are helping him as he auditions for a role with the Brewers, who signed him as a non-roster invitee on Feb. 15.
"I'm very excited that I'm able to command the baseball again," he said. "That's what I've been chasing for the past few years. The things we work on are really simple. It makes it a little easier, rather than redoing your whole mechanical thing, it's just little simple points, and it's really helped."
On the Brewers' off-day Monday, another rotation hopeful, lefty Brent Suter, threw in a Minor League intrasquad game. His goal was to refine his changeup and build up innings. The next day, he gave himself a mixed review.
"Just mediocre," he said, estimating he threw 45-50 pitches. "I was really subpar in my crispness. My pitch execution was subpar. I felt good physically, just mentally, it was just OK. I got the work in. It was just a little disappointing."
Catcher Stephen Vogt, recovering from a strained throwing shoulder, had three plate appearances as the designated hitter on Tuesday, walking twice and grounding out in his second trip to the plate.
The next step is a throwing program, which should begin soon, now that he appears to be pain-free.
"It should come back fairly quickly," he said. "I was built up well before. It shouldn't take too long to get back into it."
Vogt was able to participate in all baseball-related activities that did not involve throwing during his down time, so it's likely he will still be ready for the regular season. Opening Day is just more than three weeks away.
"There's 21 games left and you can certainly get ready in a shorter amount of time than that," Counsell said.
The Brewers will travel to Surprise, Ariz., to play the Royals on Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. CT. Right-hander Junior Guerra, who is competing for one of the two available spots in the rotation, will start for Milwaukee. Guerra has allowed one run over six spring innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. The game can be heard on an exclusive webcast.