If the Brewers want to show that they can truly compete for the Cactus League Title, this is the game that they need to win. Cleveland is the only team that has won two games thus far, therefore they are the best team in the league. The Indians and Brewers are two of just seven Cactus League teams that remain undefeated. After today, that number will dwindle. The Brewers must win this to keep pace. The team needs to come out with a sense of urgency, with the bats swinging and the high heat heating. This is their chance to prove legitimacy.
Mark Rogers will get his first chance to vie for a rotation spot today. The oft-injured right hander made seven starts in the majors last year with just two of them being poor. Overall he posted a 3.92 ERA while striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings. Rogers found success by keeping his walk totals down, something he more than struggled with in the minors, where he has a career 5.7 BB/9. It's unlikely that Rogers suddenly gained control of his walk numbers. His BB/9 wasn't showing any improvement over the last few years. However, if Rogers can prove during spring training that his control is vastly improved, he may be a favorite for a rotation spot.
Zach McAllister will take the mound first for the Indians. McAllister made 22 starts last year after a mostly successful five-year minor league career and seems to have a lock on a rotation spot going into 2013. He ended the 2012 season with a 4.24 ERA while maintaining a 7.9 K/9 and a 2.7 BB/9. Both his K/9 and BB/9 are just a bit above his career minor league stats.
Brewers Sunday Lineup: