Classic departures bring opportunities

PHOENIX -- The start of the World Baseball Classic means opportunity for the extra catchers in Brewers camp.

Both of the catchers on Milwaukee's 40-man roster are playing in the tournament -- Jonathan Lucroy for the U.S. and Martin Maldonado for Puerto Rico. Five non-roster invitees will cover those absences: Dayton Buller, Anderson De La Rosa, Robinzon Diaz, Blake Lalli and Adam Weisenburger.

"They said, 'Get ready to play. You're going to get a lot of work,'" said Lalli, 29, who made his Major League debut last season with the Cubs.

Diaz is the only other member of the group with big league experience. He played 44 games with the Blue Jays and Pirates in 2008 and '09.

The other three players were in the Brewers' organization last year. Buller is the most experienced, but he has been sidelined from Cactus League games so far by a calf strain, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Lalli, who could end up being the top catcher at Triple-A Nashville, welcomed the heavy workload.

"That's what you want as a player -- opportunity," he said.