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Big Ben doubtful for Opening Day

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Adam McCalvy is back on the Brewers beat, and he bears bad news:

Sheets has been progressing well since straining a muscle in his upper back last week, and he is scheduled to throw off a mound again on Sunday morning. But he is at least a week away from pitching in a game, leaving little time to build toward an April 3 start against the Pirates at Miller Park.

"He's making progress, but he hasn't gotten to the point yet where he can be extended. So to suggest that he's going to be ready in two weeks? It's getting, mathematically, less and less possible," Ash said before the Brewers-Padres game at Peoria Sports Complex.

In other news, Adam is seriously on top of things, with the following nuggets:

  • Hardy will probably play Tuesday, but Weeks won't.

  • The org originally planned to send Zach Jackson to Huntsville (AA), but have been sufficiently impressed to ship him off to Nashville.  And this is after his bombing today.

  • "Masa Koyanagi, the athletic trainer at Class A Brevard County, is on the staff for Team Japan."  I did not know that.  Between him and Bill Castro (pitching coach for the just-eliminated Dominicans), the Brewers had more coaches in the second round of the WBC than players!

  • I had forgotten in my earlier update that tomorrow will bring a pair of split squad games, not just Ben Hendrickson vs. the ChiSox.  Dave Bush will take on the Giants, and strike out Barry Bonds two--no, make that three!--times.  Good practice for the regular season.

  • And one last thing: my best wishes go out to Prince Fielder and his young family:
    First baseman Prince Fielder will be available to play Sunday before traveling home to Florida, where his wife, Chanel, is to be induced into labor. Chanel is pregnant with the couple's second child, a son they plan to name Haven. Assuming all goes well, Fielder is expected back in camp on Thursday.
    So Prince isn't 22 yet and he's having his second kid?  Looks like his achievements at a young age extend beyond the playing field.  I just hope the Brewers have first dibs on Haven in the 2024 amateur draft!

In case you're reading this and it's between 9PM and 12:30AM CT on Saturday night: watch the Japan-Korea game!  It will make you happy.  It will make you love baseball even more.  It will cause you to have more fun than your friends who are out getting drunk right now.  Trust me.