Spring Training Game Preview and Thread #-9: Brewers (10-12) @ Rockies (10-10)

Nine more games before they start to count.

The Brewers have four exhibition road games remaining this spring: Two next week in Goodyear, a trip to Surprise tomorrow and their final visit to Salt River Fields today.

They'll wave goodbye to Scottsdale today after facing Juan Nicasio (3.18 ERA this spring, 5.14/4.25 ERA/FIP in 2013) and the Rockies at 3:05 Central time. Nicasio struggled against the Angels on Saturday, allowing four runs on six hits over 4.1 innings. Three of those hits were home runs.

2013 was Nicasio's first full season in the majors after partial seasons in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 his year ended early after he was hit by a line drive and fractured a vertebrae in his neck. In 2012 he suffered a more conventional injury, undergoing knee surgery. He throws a low-to-mid 90's fastball with a slider and changeup.

Nicasio beat the Brewers on April 3 of last season, holding them to two runs on seven hits over six innings. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more.

The Brewers are using relievers to fill nine innings today, starting with left-handed Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang (0.00 ERA this spring, did not pitch in majors in 2013). Wang has not started or pitched more than two innings in a game this spring. He last pitched on Monday against the White Sox, working around a hit to pitch a scoreless inning.

Wang's biggest strength as a Brewer this spring might be his ability to limit free passes: He has not walked a batter over his 8.1 innings of work. However, his strikeouts have also diminished lately: He recorded four in his first two outings but hasn't gotten any in each of his last four.

Wang has, of course, never faced the Rockies during the regular season. He did pitch two scoreless innings against them in a Cactus League game on March 6.

Mike Vassallo has today's lineup:

I don't know why I even mention the weather in this space, because in Arizona this time of year it's nice every day. Expect a game-time temperature around 78 to climb into the low 80's as the afternoon moves along.

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