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Urías (wrist) won't rule out Opening Day

Wahl healthy after ACL tear; two-way prospect Andrews focused on pitching
@AdamMcCalvy
February 12, 2020

PHOENIX -- Brewers infielder Luis Urías is already making progress in his comeback from surgery for a broken hamate bone, and he’s not willing to rule out being ready for Opening Day. The cast on Urias’ left wrist was removed last week on Friday, he said, about 10 days following

PHOENIX -- Brewers infielder Luis Urías is already making progress in his comeback from surgery for a broken hamate bone, and he’s not willing to rule out being ready for Opening Day.

The cast on Urias’ left wrist was removed last week on Friday, he said, about 10 days following surgery for an injury suffered while playing winter ball in Mexico. It was poor timing, since Urías was supposed to compete with Orlando Arcia for the starting job at shortstop, and now he may not be ready for Opening Day. Urías saw a positive in the timing, however.

“It happens, you know? That’s part of the game,” he said. “Actually, the doctor told me if it didn’t happen right now, it would have happened during the season. I would rather have this surgery right now.”

The surgery was Jan. 28, and Urías says he was given a 6-8 week prognosis. At eight weeks, the Brewers’ March 26 season opener against the Cubs would be in doubt. At six weeks, Urías would have a chance. He walked around American Family Fields of Phoenix on Wednesday squeezing a foam baseball, beginning to regain strength in his hand and forearm.

“I want to be ready for Opening Day,” he said.

‘No limitations’ for Wahl in bullpen bid
As pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday for the formal start of Spring Training, few were more excited than right-handed reliever Bobby Wahl, who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during his second Cactus League appearance last spring and missed the entire season.

“I feel like a normal human being again,” Wahl said. “I’m able to do all the normal things. It seems like just yesterday [that he was hurt], but I’m ready to go now. No issues, no limitations.”

Wahl, one of three prospects acquired from the Mets in a January 2019 trade for Keon Broxton, dropped some weight during a long rehab alongside another reliever, Corey Knebel, who missed all of 2019 following elbow surgery. The two were able to make use of newly renovated American Family Fields of Phoenix, which underwent an extensive expansion built around improved medical facilities.

“I feel great,” he said. “Whatever workload is thrown my way, I’m ready for. I was working all last year for this.”

Andrews: ‘I’m focused on pitching right now’
One prospect to watch in Brewers camp is Clayton Andrews, who was drafted as a left-handed pitcher out of Long Beach State in 2018 but served as a two-way player in 2019 at Class A Advanced Carolina, Double-A Biloxi and in the Arizona Fall League -- pitching and making 18 starts in center field.

On the Brewers’ camp roster, he’s simply listed as “LHP.”

“I’ve been focused primarily on pitching,” said Andrews, who reported early to camp. “I haven’t gotten to dive into the hitting side yet. If that opportunity presents itself while I’m over here, then I’ll have to sit down and figure out how I’m going to separate the two.”

Andrews hit .333 (21-for-63) in his limited duty as an outfielder at the two Minor League affiliates last season. He is No. 30 on MLB Pipeline’s list of Milwaukee’s top prospects.

Major League Baseball on Wednesday introduced long-awaited rules changes that could impact Andrews in the future. Active rosters from the start of the season through Aug. 31 expanded from 25 to 26, with a limit of 13 pitchers. And, position players may only appear as a pitcher following the ninth inning of an extra-inning game or in any game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs.

Because of those new rules, MLB had to come up with a solution for two-way players. They may appear as pitchers during a game without counting toward a club's pitcher limitations.

As the rule is written, a player will qualify as a “Two-Way Player” only if he accrues both: (i) at least 20 Major League innings pitched; and (ii) at least 20 Major League games started (as a position player or designated hitter) with at least three plate appearances in each of those games, in either the current season or the prior season (for 2020 only, this will include 2019 as well as 2018). The Club must designate that player as a “Two-Way Player” in advance of that game. Once a Club designates a qualified “Two-Way Player” that designation will remain in effect, and cannot change, for the remainder of that Championship Season and Postseason.

“If I have an opportunity to do both, we’ll see what happens,” Andrews said.

Arctic Tailgate cancelled
Due to projected low temperatures and potentially dangerous wind chills, the Brewers have cancelled this weekend’s “Arctic Tailgate” and will not allow fans to camp outside Miller Park as previously scheduled.

Single-game tickets will still go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday via all outlets, including Brewers.com. Fans who wish to purchase tickets in person can line up as early as 7 a.m. Only a very limited number of Opening Day tickets will be available at this event, with each fan able to purchase a maximum of four tickets to Opening Day.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.