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Brewers Greinke to pitch in minors on Tuesday

Greinke to pitch in minors on Tuesday
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
April 15, 2011

Washington Zack Greinke is ready to pitch in a game.

No more bullpen sessions. No more batting practice. No more simulated action.

Greinke pronounced himself ready Friday to go on minor-league rehabilitation after a 30-pitch simulated session against teammates Mark Kotsay, George Kottaras and Erick Almonte. Greinke said he will pitch Tuesday for Class A Brevard County against Tampa, which the club later confirmed.

Five days after that, Greinke said he'll pitch for Class AAA Nashville against Omaha. Then what?

"We'll see," said Greinke.

Manager Ron Roenicke said he thinks Greinke will need three rehab outings, however, before being ready to pitch for the Brewers with a decent pitch count. Roenicke said Greinke would be limited to 30-35 pitches in his first outing, then around 50 in his second game.

That workload would make Greinke ready to throw only 70-75 pitches the next time out, and Roenicke wants his arm built up more than that.

"Once he gets around 75 pitches, then he's pretty much ready (for the majors)," said Roenicke. "He needs to pitch at least three times. He'll be coming back and forth (from the Brewers to the minors)."

If Greinke needs a third rehab outing, it probably would be April 29 for Nashville against Albuquerque. Moving forward five days beyond that, he would make his first start for the Brewers on May 4 in Atlanta.

Greinke and Roenicke both were pleased with the 30-pitch simulated outing, in which Greinke threw 15 pitches, took a break, then threw 15 more.

"It went good," said Greinke, who has been on the disabled list with a cracked left rib suffered early in spring camp playing basketball. "I threw a lot of strikes. I located, in and out, pretty good."

Asked if he's ready for game action, Greinke said, "Yeah. I might not be the sharpest or the best, but I feel ready. I feel I can execute some things and get some outs."

Hart closing in, too
Rightfielder Corey Hart is nearing a minor-league rehab assignment as well. Hart said he'll go to Philadelphia with the Brewers on Monday, take batting practice at Citizens Bank Park, then catch a plane for New Orleans to begin a four-game series with Nashville.

Hart, coming back from a left oblique strain, said he hopes to return to action with the Brewers during the second series on the next home stand, against Cincinnati. He'll have to work slowly back into game action, much like the beginning of spring training, with a day off here and there.

"They want me to play more than four games," he said. "I'm feeling pretty good. This has gone on longer than I wanted, but I'm getting close."

"He's probably going to need a week," said Roenicke. "He's not going to play every day. We wouldn't want to do too much too fast at this point."

Happy anniversary
Friday marked the 24th anniversary of a special occasion in Brewers history, which occurred 25 miles to the north in Baltimore. Juan Nieves threw a no-hitter against the Orioles, still the only pitcher to accomplish that feat in club history.

The catcher that night was Bill Schroeder, now a television analyst for the club's broadcasts. Asked if he was surprised that Nieves still stands alone with the only no-hitter for the Brewers, Schroeder said, "It shouldn't be the only one."

Schroeder referred to the one-hitter pitched by CC Sabathia on Aug. 31, 2008, in which the lone hit was a tainted one on a come-backer that Sabathia muffed. That official scorer, Bob Webb, was on duty again Thursday night in Pittsburgh and raised eyebrows when he called a drive by Neil Walker that popped out of leftfielder Ryan Braun's glove a double instead of an error.

From hot to cold
Almonte, an infielder/outfielder, won the final spot on the Brewers' roster in spring training by batting .416 with three homers and 13 RBI. With irregular playing time, Almonte has not been able to keep that stroke going during the regular season.

In right field for the second consecutive night, Almonte was batting .077 (1 for 13) with no hits in his last 10 at-bats. That skid extended to 12 at-bats before Almonte singled in the sixth inning.

"That happens a lot," Roenicke said of hitters going cold with less playing time. "He has taken a lot of good at-bats. He's had no luck at all.

"That's why I hate to see guys so hot in spring training. It's so hard to carry it over. But (getting hits) is the only way to relax."
Greinke to pitch in minors on Tuesday - JSOnline
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