Insider's Report - The Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers will have to face the Cardinals without their staff Ace, Ben Sheets, who is on the disabled list recovering from a strained muscle behind his throwing shoulder.


   After winning five of their first six games, the Brewers may be a
week away from getting their ace back.

   Right-hander Ben Sheets, who is on the disabled list recovering from
a strained muscle behind his throwing shoulder, is slated to throw 75
pitches for Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa. If
all goes well, Sheets could be activated in time to start against the
Mets on Sunday at Shea Stadium.

   "I'm ready to get back, but I don't want to jump the gun," Sheets
said. "If I tried to jump the gun and had a setback, I'd look like an
idiot. I try to tell myself that one more (rehab) start ain't going to be
a killer."


   REPLAY: The Brewers knew they weren't going to go unbeaten this
season.

   Sunday proved it.

   Stymied by Arizona right-hander Claudio Vargas, the Brewers managed
just four hits -- three by Corey Koskie -- and dropped a 7-0 decision
to Arizona at Miller Park. Lefty Chris Capuano matched Vargas for six
innings but lost his command in the seventh and was touched for three
runs.

   The Brewers are to face St. Louis today in the inaugural game at
the new Busch Stadium.



NOTES, QUOTES

   --LF Geoff Jenkins, who did not hit a home run during spring
training, played the first six games of the season without a homer or an RBI.
   --RF Carlos Lee, who had at least one hit and one walk in each of
his first five games, did not reach base Sunday.
   --RHP Jared Fernandez made his Brewers debut Sunday. He worked two
innings and was tagged for three runs and three hits. Fernandez is the
leading candidate to be demoted when RHP Ben Sheets returns from the
15-day disabled list next week.
   --It was overshadowed by later events, but RHP Justin Lehr impressed
the coaching staff by coaxing an inning-ending double play from
Arizona's Damion Easley in the seventh inning Sunday. Lehr has been very
consistent this spring and likely will see seventh-inning duty in front of
RHPs Matt Wise and Derrick Turnbow.
   --RHP Ben Sheets, who is on the disabled list recovering from a
strained muscle behind his throwing shoulder, is slated to throw 75 pitches
for Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa. If all
goes well, Sheets could be activated in time to start against the Mets on
Sunday at Shea Stadium.

   BY THE NUMBERS: 11 -- The number of official at-bats by rookie 1B
Prince Fielder before he collected his first hit -- a game-winning single
against Pittsburgh. Fielder struck out seven times in those 11 at-bats.

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "J.J. is going to hit some home runs. He's not a
Punch-and-Judy hitter." -- Manager Ned Yost, after shortstop J.J. Hardy hit
two homers in his first three games. As a rookie in 2005, Hardy hit one
home run before the All-Star break.



ROSTER REPORT

   The Brewers had a series of nagging injuries in the final days of
camp but nothing that should affect the regular lineup for any period of
time. No. 1 pitcher Ben Sheets will start the season on the DL while he
continues his recovery from a shoulder injury from last season,
prompting the other starters in the rotation to be bumped up a spot. But the
Brewers are hopeful that Sheets will only miss the first week or two of
the season, at the worst.

   ROTATION:
   1. LHP Doug Davis
   2. LHP Chris Capuano
   3. RHP Tomo Ohka
   4. RHP Dave Bush
   5. To be determined

   Every pitcher got bumped up a notch in the rotation when No. 1
starter Ben Sheets had a setback in his recovery from a shoulder injury and
could not get ready for the start of the season. Thus, Davis will be
making the first Opening Day start of his career and will hold down the
No. 1 spot until Sheets returns.

   Bush, who had a 0.90 ERA in his first five spring starts, easily won
a three-man battle for the last announced spot in the rotation. LHP
Dana Eveland pitched his way back to the minors and veteran RHP Rick
Helling was battling shoulder and elbow ailments. The Brewers don't need a
No. 5 starter until April 16, and thus manager Ned Yost delayed naming
one.

   BULLPEN:
   RHP Derrick Turnbow (closer)
   RHP Dan Kolb
   RHP Matt Wise
   LHP Jorge De La Rosa
   RHP Jared Fernandez
   RHP Justin Lehr
   RHP Jose Capellan
   RHP Rick Helling

   Helling had some elbow problems in the middle of camp but recovered
and made the active roster. Helling and Fernandez are projected to
pitch in long-relief roles, with Fernandez available on short notice
because he throws a knuckleball.

   Turnbow and Kolb both struggled with their command in the early
going but were making progress in the final days of camp. Both are power
pitchers who are complemented nicely by Wise, a changeup specialist who
was outstanding at retiring left-handed batters last season.

   LINEUP:
   1. CF Brady Clark
   2. SS J.J. Hardy
   3. RF Geoff Jenkins
   4. LF Carlos Lee
   5. 1B Prince Fielder
   6. 2B Rickie Weeks
   7. 3B Corey Koskie/Bill Hall
   8. C Damian Miller

   Hall will find his way into various spots in the lineup.

   RESERVES:
   OF Gabe Gross
   OF Corey Hart
   INF Jeff Cirillo
   INF Bill Hall
   C Chad Moeller

   Manager Ned Yost puts a premium on versatility, and his bench
provides exactly that. Cirillo can play third base and first base, and second
base in a pinch. Hall is even more versatile, having split the 2005
season between third, short and second.

   Gross provides a left-handed bat off the bench and can play all
three outfield spots if needed. Hart, who was drafted as a first baseman,
later moved to third and finally to the outfield, can come off the bench
to help at any of those positions. Moeller is strictly a defensive
catcher who provides very little offensively.

   ROOKIE WATCH: 1B Prince Fielder has a high ceiling as an offensive
player with prodigious power. He will get the opportunity to play every
day and thus is a legitimate candidate for NL rookie of the year. In
all likelihood, OF/1B Corey Hart won't get to play nearly as much but
could be an important contributor off the bench as a pinch-hitter. He'll
also spell Fielder at 1B at times. RHP Jose Capellan is not guaranteed a
spot in the bullpen at the beginning of the season but could evolve
into the Brewers' closer at some point in the future.

   MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Ben Sheets (muscle tear behind his shoulder) is
making minor league rehab starts. He could be back in Milwaukee's
rotation by this weekend.


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