MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers took part in a rite of spring Tuesday, when they filled a truck with baseballs, bats, racing sausages and the rest of Spring Training's necessities and sent it all on the road toward Phoenix, where pitchers and catchers report for duty next week."I'm excited to get
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers took part in a rite of spring Tuesday, when they filled a truck with baseballs, bats, racing sausages and the rest of Spring Training's necessities and sent it all on the road toward Phoenix, where pitchers and catchers report for duty next week.
"I'm excited to get out of the cold weather," said Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw, who spent the winter working out at Miller Park. "I think everyone is ready to go. High expectations -- definitely a little bit higher than we had last year."
Shaw, who departs Monday for Phoenix, will be among the players on hand early. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 and have their first formal workout the following day. Brewers position players report Feb. 19, and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 20.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Then things start moving fast. The Brewers' first Cactus League games are split-squad affairs against the Cubs and Giants on Feb. 23. Opening Day is Thursday, March 29, in San Diego.
"Everything we need for Spring Training is going to go on that truck," said Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger. "It's a sign of spring despite it being 2 degrees outside. This is the official launch, if you will, of Spring Training."
Schlesinger said the front office was "energized" by the Brewers' Jan. 25 acquisitions of outfielders Lorenzo Cain (via free agency) and Christian Yelich (via trade). That duo joined an already full outfield, which general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell will have to sort out over the course of spring.
"We're all fans, first and foremost," Schlesinger said. "The fact that we have dramatically improved the club and made a statement, I think it's great. It's great for ticket sales, it's great for morale, it's great for the brand and more importantly, it's great for the fans."
Ed Sheeran to play Miller Park
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will play Miller Park in the fall as part of his North American stadium tour, the Brewers announced Tuesday morning. When he takes the stage, however, depends on the ballpark's primary tenant.
The show is tentatively set for Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. CT, which almost precisely coincides with the first pitch of Game 1 of the 2018 World Series. If the Brewers happen to advance that far, the concert would be pushed to an alternate date.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. CT exclusively through Ticketmaster. A link to a presale opportunity is at brewers.com/EdSheeran.
Sheeran is one of two major concerts planned this year at Miller Park, which will also host Kenny Chesney for the third time on April 28.
Shaw wrapping up winter workouts
Shaw usually spends the offseason in Florida but he grew up in Ohio, so this Wisconsin winter was not an entirely new experience. Since his baby daughter Ryann required regular visits to Children's Hospital after the end of last season, Shaw became the first player in years to take the Brewers up on their offer to use Miller Park's training facilities to prepare for Spring Training.
"If I have a huge year this year, it would be something to consider [repeating], but hopefully it was a one-time thing," Shaw said. "Florida is a little bit nicer in January than Milwaukee is. ... But working out here all winter was awesome. It's easy. Josh [Seligman, the team's strength-and-conditioning specialist] got me in really good shape. It was kind of a blessing."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.