Club's Classic pitchers ahead of schedule
PHOENIX -- Hiram Burgos pitched the Brewers' first live batting practice session on Monday and Yovani Gallardo was scheduled for a similar session on Tuesday, signs of the Brewers putting their participants on an accelerated path to next month's World Baseball Classic.
Manager Ron Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz have taken particular care to map a course for their starting pitchers -- Gallardo and Marco Estrada of Mexico and Puerto Rico's Burgos. They will essentially have to be one start ahead of a usual Spring Training schedule to be ready, even considering the Classic's pitch count restrictions.
Gallardo and Estrada will pitch in an intrasquad game scheduled for Friday. Roenicke said he wasn't ready to name a starter for Saturday's Cactus League opener against the A's.
"The starters, it's big to figure out to get them ready to extend themselves into those innings," Roenicke said. "I know they have a pitch count, they're trying to protect all the pitchers in that Classic, but it's still a concern with the pitching coach to make sure we're doing it the right way."
Classic pitchers will be limited to 65 pitches in the first round, 80 pitches in the second round and 95 in the final two rounds, down from 70, 85 and 100 pitches when the event was last held in 2009.
Wednesday will be a big day in Brewers camp, weather permitting, with 12 pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice.
"From what I've seen in the bullpen, guys look like they're ready," Roenicke said. "Not too many guys come down here and they haven't thrown bullpen yet, though there are a couple."