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Brewers to give Diaz a good look at catcher


PHOENIX -- It's not every day you see a team return a healthy player to Minor League camp before even playing an intrasquad game, but that's what the Brewers did Thursday with 24-year-old catcher Rafael Neda. Manager Ron Roenicke attributed the move to a numbers crunch.

Neda was the least experienced of the catchers, and the Brewers want a better look at Robinzon Diaz, a late addition to the camp roster.

"I didn't want [Neda] to just sit around and not do much," Roenicke said.

Diaz has 44 games of Major League experience with the Blue Jays and Pirates, giving him as good a chance as anyone of sliding into the No. 3 slot on Milwaukee's depth chart at catcher, behind Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado. The only other catcher in camp with big league experience is Blake Lalli, who played in six games last season with the Cubs.

A defensive-minded catcher with a .281 batting average in 139 Major League at-bats, Diaz has a chance to play often when Lucroy and Maldonado depart for the World Baseball Classic.

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