Milwaukee Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy progressing from hamstring


According to reports, Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is making progress in his recover from a hamstring injury and may be in active in the Cactus League sooner rather than later.

Manager Ron Roenicke confirmed the accelerated timetable for Lucroy, who will get at-bats with the minor-league players as he tries to get up to speed for Opening Day.

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He is already catching some bullpen sessions and getting some work in at first base, where he is expected to provide Adam Lind with some time off against left-handed starters.

Lind, meanwhile, has yet to debut this spring as he deals with tightness in his lower back—an issue that has landed the slugger on the disabled list three times in the last four seasons.

According to, the good news is that the club was able to catch it before playing Lind in a game. Last season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Lind had a recurrence of the tightness in his back after playing a lot in his first game of spring training. He wound up on the disabled list for much of the first month of the season.

“We figured somewhere along the line it was going to flare up,” Roenicke said. “I think it’s learning him and him letting us know when it’s a little tight and it could flare up and for me to maybe have to take him out of some things.

“It changes. This isn’t bad at all. I’m hoping to get him in there [Sunday] or the next day.

Feb 27, 2015; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Dontrelle Willis (35) poses during photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park . Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Dontrelle Willis, the former All-Star who is in camp on a minor-league contract, also had to delay his debut this spring. He was scheduled to pitch against the Texas Rangers on Saturday, but sat out because of stiffness in his neck.

Willis, was runner-up for the Cy Young Award in the National League in 2005 after going 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.134 WHIP for the Florida Marlins, but after being traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 2007 season as part of the deal that sent Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to Motown, his career came off the rails.

Since the trade, Willis is 4-15 with a 6.15 ERA and 1.814 WHIP in 43 appearances, 40 of them starts, and 199 innings at the big league level. He has 156 walks and 139 strikeouts over that span and hasn’t pitched in the majors since making 13 starts for the Cincinnati Reds in 2011.

Last year, Willis made two relief appearances for Triple-A Fresno in the San Francisco Giants organization, recording two outs and walking one with three wild pitches, before injuring his forearm and being released.

He made two starts for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League in August, allowing nine runs on 14 hits in 12.2 innings with five walks and nine strikeouts.

Now 33, the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year is running out of time to revive his once-bright career.

But he’s perhaps another in a cautionary tale of pitchers who get a lot of work early in their careers. Willis had thrown more than 1,000 innings (1,022.2, to be exact) before his 26th birthday.

By way of an update on the club, the Brewers committed three errors and had two hits Friday in a 10-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Matt Garza made his first spring start and allowed five runs—just one earned—in two innings. Tyler Cravy surrendered two runs in his one inning of work and Neal Cotts walked three while getting just one out, being charged with one run.

Hobbs Johnson and Michael Strong each gave up runs in a single inning of work. Rob Wooten threw 1.2 scoreless frames and Wei-Chung Wang pitched a perfect ninth.

Singles by Elian Herrera and Bryan Petersen were all the Brewers got at the plate, with Nevin Ashley driving in a run with a ground ball out.

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  • On Saturday, the Brewers gave up four runs in the top of the eighth and fell to 0-3 in Cactus League play with a 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.

    Hector Gomez was 2-for-2 with three RBI, homering in the seventh with a runner on against Luke Jackson, while Matt Clark was 3-for-3 with a double as the designated hitter.

    The damage came off Taylor Williams in the eighth inning. He allowed four runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Wily Peralta started and allowed a run and struck out three in two innings.

    Jonathan Broxton, Jeremy Jeffress and Jim Henderson each pitched a scoreless inning and Taylor Jungmann struck out three in two scoreless innings. David Goforth got the final four outs of the game, striking out three.

    The Brewers visit the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., at 3:05 p.m. Central.

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