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3/9 – 3/15 Brewers Week In Review

March 16, 2015

The Brewers continue to get ready for the season out in Arizona. It has been a busy week for the team. They played 8 games, made one player’s signing official, saw another player retire, and had to deal with illnesses in the clubhouse.

Francisco Rodriguez, or K-Rod, signed his two-year $13 million contract Saturday morning. This is officially the fifth time that the Brewers have acquired Rodriguez. They traded for him late in the 2011 season, offered him arbitration that winter, then signed him as a free agent in as a free agent in 2013, 2014, 2015.

So what keeps him coming back?

“Me and my family are really, really, really happy,” he said. “It’s the place we feel comfortable, it’s the place we want to be,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to be fun. I know we have to finish what we started last year, with the fall down that we had the last month.”

So it appears that he will be the closer on Opening Day, with Jonathan Broxton setting him up. K-Rod’s signing makes the Brewers bullpen a strength this season.

Right around the same time, Dontrelle Willis announced that he was retiring. Willis was attempting to make the team, but he developed a stiff neck. When the pain got worse instead of better, he decided it was time to hang up his spikes.

In other pitching news, Ron Roenicke made it official that Kyle Lohse will start Opening Day. He will be the first pitcher other than Yovanni Gallardo to start on Opening Day for the Brewers since Jeff Suppan in 2009. Matt Garza and Wily Peralta are scheduled to start games 2 and 3. Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson round out the Brewers rotation.

The Brewers were battling a couple of bugs as well as their opponents this week. Jonathan Lucroy and Logan Schafer were among several Brewers who had a bout of pink eye, while Ryan Braun was scratched for Friday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Ron Roenicke, Wily Peralta, and Mike Fiers came down with a respiratory illness. It was not surprising, then, that they took a break from high fiving. They brought back the forearm bumps and air high fives. Well, at least nobody has stepped on anything yet during Spring training like cactus or a scorpion.

As far as the games go, the Brewers lost to the AL Champion Royals 5-4 before finally getting their first win on Tuesday, beating the Reds 5-3. They went on to beat the Giants 6-3 and the Rockies 5-3. Well, look at that, a winning streak! The next two games were 10-5 losses, one to the Mariners and one to the Cubs. On Sunday, Lucroy got his first home run of the spring in a 5-2 loss to the A’s, and Carlos Gomez got his first in a 12-5 loss to the Rangers in split squad action on Sunday.

Even though the Brewers have an awful record, they are still a half game ahead of the World Champion Giants.

Weekly Record: 3-5
Season Record: 3-9

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