Morrison making case for spot on Brewers’ roster

Logan Morrison, Brewers first baseman (⬆️ UP)

Spring training stats should always be taken with a grain of salt. OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Morrison is starting to make a case for himself to be on Milwaukee’s roster … at some point. With first base a little crowded already with Justin Smoak and Ryan Braun and no designated hitter in the National League, there’s seems to be little space for LoMo. But he’s at least putting himself in the conversation after swatting a pair of three-run homers this past weekend. He’s also drawing walks (and, yes, again small sample size), which harkens back to his 2017 season with Tampa Bay when he hit .246/.353/.516 with 38 home runs. What team couldn’t use a little of that?

 

Ronny Rodriguez, Brewers utility man (⬇️ DOWN)

Rodriguez hit the first home run for Milwaukee in spring training … and has one hit since. Overall he’s 2-for-14 with five strikeouts. There’s a lot of competition for utility roles and/or the 26th spot on the opening-day roster. Rodriguez is slowly sliding to the back end of that list.

 

Eric Lauer, Brewers starting pitcher (⬆️ UP)

Acquired from San Diego in an offseason trade, manager Craig Counsell has consistently been saying that Lauer is a candidate for the fifth starter role with the Brewers. After Sunday’s outing in which he tossed 2 1/3 innings, Lauer has a spring training line of 5 1/3 innings, three hits, one run, one walk and nine strikeouts. He’s in danger of not making this a competition at all.

 

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David Phelps, Brewers reliever (⬇️ DOWN)

Yet again, small sample size, but Phelps, who was signed by Milwaukee at the end of January, did not fare well in Tuesday’s loss to San Diego and in three spring appearances has allowed three hits and four wals in two innings (as well as eight runs, three earned). There’s still a few weeks left in Arizona so no reason to panic, but control has been an issue for Phelps, especially in recent years (4.5 BB/9 in 2019, 4.2/9 in 2017).

 

George Hill, Bucks guard (⬆️ UP)

After missing some time with a groin injury, Hill is rounding back into form. He made all four of his field-goal attempts (2-for-2 from 3) and all four of his free-throw attempts in his 14-point, six-rebounding outing against Oklahoma City on Feb. 28, then followed that up with 11 points and five rebounds at Charlotte and 12 points (5-of-9 shooting), three rebounds and three assists at Miami. It was the first time Hill had three straight games scoring in double figures since Dec. 14-25.

 

Eric Bledsoe, Bucks guard (⬇️ DOWN)

In three games last week, Bledsoe had 18 points combined. He also had 11 assists and 10 turnovers. Oh, and he played less than 23 minutes in each game. Oof.

 

Greg Gard, Badgers head coach (⬆️ UP)

Remember a few weeks ago when the sky was falling around the Wisconsin basketball program? All Gard has done has led Wisconsin to six straight wins, including a decisive victory at then-No. 19 Michigan last Thursday and put the now 24th-ranked Badgers in position to be in a tie for first place in the Big Ten after Wednesday’s game against Northwestern. A double-bye in the conference tournament seems likelier by the day, as does a top-6 seed in the NCAA tournament. Quite the turnaround. Criticism of Gard wasn’t totally unfounded earlier this season. The same goes for heaping praise upon him now.