Roenicke to set tone for first full-squad practice

Roenicke to set tone for first full-squad practice

PHOENIX -- New Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will get a much better feel for his ballclub beginning Tuesday, when the full squad works out for the first time. Principal owner Mark Attanasio is among the guests scheduled to address the team in a long morning meeting, and Roenicke intends to use his own address to set a tone for his first season at the helm.

"I prepare a little bit, because there are certain things that are really important to me that I want them to know," Roenicke said. "From there, it just kind of goes where I see it needs to go. I've been listening to Mike [Scioscia, the Angels manager] for the last 11 years, and when I'm listening to him in his meetings, I always have an idea of what I would like to say."

With other messages from team doctors and other front-office officials, Brewers players likely won't hit the fields for their first full-squad workout until after 11 a.m. local time. It will feature the first rounds of live batting practice, hitters' first opportunity to see "real" pitching and 11 pitchers' first opportunity to throw with somebody in the batter's box. 

"They do ramp it up, and on the guys that are hard to see, you see the ugly swings," Roenicke said. "Although, this first day, most swings are kind of ugly."

The Brewers begin Cactus League play on Feb. 28 with split-squad games against the Cubs and Giants. Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz are still formulating their exhibition rotation, but Roenicke intends to keep his starting pitchers away from National League Central opponents Chicago and Cincinnati, so whoever gets the nod for that first day will likely face the Giants.

"I would prefer that," Roenicke said. "If it's mapped out to where we're getting near the end and we've got a [division] opponent and we say, 'You know something, we don't need them to be seeing [our pitcher] again,' maybe we'll have a simulated game or most likely he'll pitch in a Triple-A game if that works out."

With Tuesday's workout, things will start to look a whole lot more like Spring Training.

"Hopefully, there won't be too much confusion," Roenicke said. "But it will be different, because there will be a lot more guys moving around. ... It'll get interesting."