GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brewers All-Star closer Corey Knebel is undergoing treatment for tendinitis in his left knee after leaving Saturday's appearance in mid-inning. However, his availability for Opening Day does not appear to be in doubt."It's not big," he said Sunday morning. "I've had it during the season before. I
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brewers All-Star closer Corey Knebel is undergoing treatment for tendinitis in his left knee after leaving Saturday's appearance in mid-inning. However, his availability for Opening Day does not appear to be in doubt.
"It's not big," he said Sunday morning. "I've had it during the season before. I just grind through it. It doesn't bother me too much. But it's just Spring Training -- I'm not going to overdo it. I'm on the same schedule."
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Rain was falling and the mound had gotten wet when Knebel removed himself from the game. However, that may have been unrelated to whatever Knebel was feeling in his left knee.
"It's not an issue," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's had it [tendinitis] on and off for years. It's one of those things that everybody is dealing with something. We'll treat him for a couple days."
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Miley 'keeps doing it'
Left-hander Wade Miley continued his quest for a spot in the Brewers rotation with five workmanlike innings Sunday afternoon in a 5-4 victory over the Indians. He allowed two runs, three hits and three walks. Those two earned runs were the first he has allowed this spring, and he has a 1.38 ERA after four appearances and 13 innings.
"He keeps doing it," Counsell said. "I thought he pitched really well again. That's a very good lineup. It was five innings, under 70 pitches, three hits.
"It's been there really since day one. I think that's the thing that has impressed us. From the first time he threw a bullpen, it's looked very similar. I don't think he was as sharp today as he's been, but he was still very, very effective. He's got to keep doing it, but he's given us reason to be optimistic."
Miley spent the offseason back in his native Louisiana with one of his youth coaches, Chris Wescott, reworking his mechanics. In doing so, he may have resurrected his career.
"Obviously, I want to play as long as I can play," Miley said. "At the same time, I want to prove that's not who I was. I've had success up here and wanted to get back and prove I can get people out in the big leagues. It's more of a pride thing than anything."
Miley had a 3.95 ERA after his first five Major League seasons with the D-backs and Red Sox. In his last two, spent with the Mariners and Orioles, he had a 5.48 ERA. He signed a Minor League deal with the Brewers.
Asked how much of his confidence he'd gotten back, Miley said: "Does success come first, or does confidence come first? I've been getting outs and it's the first time in a long time I've thrown fastballs by people. I'm getting swings-and-misses on it again. That right there boosts my confidence, knowing I can use the pitch in two-strike counts without having to spin stuff and try to work off the plate."
Second-base battle continues
Don't expect Counsell to declare a winner in the second-base competition between Jonathan Villar, Hernan Perez and Eric Sogard anytime soon. All are playing well this spring: Perez is hitting .387, Sogard .353, Villar .308.
"I think we'll get into the season a little bit before we have any clarity on this," Counsell said. "A player at the start might get a shot to give him the best shot to get on track. But like I said, there's going to be multiple guys playing that spot."
"Jonny had a season Eric's never had and Hernan's never had," Counsell said. "That means something. The other fact is he didn't have a very good season last year."
He was referring to 2016 when Villar had an .826 OPS and led the National League with 62 steals. He had a tougher time in 2017 with a .665 OPS and 23 steals. Villar started 84 games at second base for the Brewers last season. Sogard got 37 starts, Perez 16. Neil Walker, who has not been re-signed, started 24 games after being acquired.
Right-hander Zach Davies will pitch an intrasquad game Monday as he works back from an oblique strain. He's on track for three more Cactus League starts if all goes well.
Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra makes his fifth appearance of the spring against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch at 3:05 p.m. CT on Monday. Clayton Kershaw is slated to start for Los Angeles.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.