PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell offered praise Sunday for new first baseman Eric Thames' first week of Spring Training at-bats, even if Thames' batting average is low."I've been very happy with his at-bats. I think he's had a very good first week," Counsell said. "I think we have to
PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell offered praise Sunday for new first baseman Eric Thames' first week of Spring Training at-bats, even if Thames' batting average is low.
"I've been very happy with his at-bats. I think he's had a very good first week," Counsell said. "I think we have to be careful about the statistics -- very careful."
Case in point: In the fourth inning of Sunday's 9-4 win over the Rockies at Maryvale Baseball Park, Thames smashed a hard grounder along the first-base line. Colorado's Jordan Patterson made a diving stop, and flipped the ball to first for the out.
Thames was denied a sure double, and his Cactus League average fell to .125 (2-for-16) after an 0-for-2 afternoon.
"It's kind of bad to be hot right now. You want to be hot at the end, and carry that momentum [into the regular season]," Thames said. "So I'm not too worried about it. Just show up every day at work, and it gets batter."
So far, Thames said he has faced a lot of curveballs and changeups, reminiscent of the style of pitching he faced over the past three seasons while playing in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Thames hopes to see some more fastballs as Spring Training goes on. That adjustment represents his greatest challenge in returning to the Majors after three years overseas.
"I want to stretch out a little bit, get something to hit and swing as hard as I can," Thames said with a smile. "It will happen eventually. I'm being patient. It's like, 'Breathe."
Gennett scratched from lineup
The Brewers scratched Scooter Gennett from Sunday's lineup with a right wrist injury so minor that Gennett told reporters it was "not even worth writing about."
Gennett tweaked his wrist playing the outfield on Thursday against the Mariners, and with Opening Day still four weeks away, the Brewers opted to play it safe. Counsell said he expects Gennett back in the lineup on Wednesday, when the team returns from its first open date of the spring.
"We're just being cautious through the off-day," Counsell said. "Minor. It's Spring Training stuff."
Said Gennett: "There's no reason to rush into things. Especially now, with a lot of these guys leaving [for the World Baseball Classic], we're going to be playing a lot more."
Good first impression
The final piece added to Milwaukee's big league camp continued to make an impact Sunday, when Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run home run and an RBI double. Aguilar, claimed off waivers from Cleveland on Feb. 2, is bidding for a spot on the bench as a power hitter and backup first baseman.
"He's a hitter, you know?" Counsell said. "He was maybe a little bit of a victim of being in the wrong place in Cleveland. We'll see what this opportunity provides for him."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.