Fun Fact: Goodyear is the furthest west of any Cactus League spring training facility, representing an arduous 16.7-mile journey from Maryvale Baseball Park.
The Brewers will make that trek today for the last time this spring to face Ubaldo Jimenez (5.54 ERA this spring, 5.40/5.06 ERA/FIP in 2012) and the Indians. Jimenez is making his fifth spring appearance and his first since Wednesday, when he held the White Sox to two runs on seven hits over five innings. He's allowed 19 hits in 13 innings this spring.
Jimenez issued almost five walks per nine innings while leading all of baseball with 17 losses a year ago, but is doing a much better job of throwing strikes this spring. He's walked just two batters over 13 Cactus League innings while striking out nine. He throws a low-to-mid 90's fastball with a slider, changeup, curve and splitter.
Jimenez has faced the Brewers six times during the regular season, twice each in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He has a career 2.63 ERA against the Crew over 41 innings, although it's pretty tough to assign any relevance to those numbers in spring training.
He'll face Marco Estrada (0.00 ERA this spring, 3.64/3.35 ERA/FIP in 2012), for a while, anyway. Estrada is starting on short rest to get lined up for Opening Day, and pitched in a minor league game on Thursday. He's made just two official Cactus League appearances this spring.
Since Estrada did just pitch on Thursday, it's unlikely he'll go deep in the game today. I'm assuming he'll pitch the same two innings Yovani Gallardo threw yesterday, and maybe a third if that goes well. Then he'll get two more starts on regular rest before facing the Rockies on April 2.
Estrada has never faced the Indians during the regular season, nor in any of his 19 career spring training appearances as a Brewer.
Today's lineup is as follows:
This is Dayton Buller's first start of the spring.
It's snowing in Appleton as I write this, but in Arizona it's another beautiful day for baseball. Expect temperatures in the low 80's throughout today's game.
Enjoy the game!