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Brewers face spring catching conundrum


MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are big supporters of the World Baseball Classic, but would be happier if the event did not pull away both of the team's regular catchers.

Jonathan Lucroy committed to Team USA and Martin Maldonado will play for Puerto Rico, leaving manager Ron Roenicke scrambling to figure out how he'll cover games for at least that one week in March.

"I would much rather have our catchers there catching these guys, no doubt," Roenicke said. "I think it's really important."

The good news for the Brewers is that this Spring Training is longer than most because of the Classic. Plus, there's always the chance that either the U.S. or Puerto Rico will be bounced from the tournament early, so the Brewers would get at least one of their catchers back.

The Brewers' other catchers in big league camp are all non-roster invitees: Dayton Buller, Anderson De La Rosa, Blake Lalli, Rafael Neda and Adam Weisenburger. Only Lalli has played in the Majors -- six games with the Cubs.

Who qualifies as the Brewers' third catcher?

"Now, don't ask me that question," Roenicke said with a smile. "We don't know. … I'm not worried about physically, who can catch them. But I want a guy who is going to be with us and working with these guys to get them locked in, to talk about stuff between innings and what they need to work on. If a guy wants to work on his change-up at the beginning of Spring Training to get ready for the end, I want our catchers to know that. And we're not going to have our two [regular] guys there, so it's going to be difficult."

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