Fun Fact: The Brewers play ten more exhibition games before Opening Day, and three (30%) of them are against the White Sox.
They'll play the first of those three today when they face Pale Hose Opening Day starter Chris Sale (4.38 ERA this spring, 3.05/3.27 ERA/FIP in 2012). Sale is making his fourth spring appearance and his first since Saturday, when he pitched five innings against Oakland and allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Sale is still only 23 years old but 2013 will be his fourth professional season and his third in the majors. The White Sox raised some major injury concerns by bumping him up from 71 innings in 2011 all the way to 192 in 2012, but have also since signed him to a long-term deal that means he'll get paid through at least 2017.
Sale throws a low-90's fastball with a lot of sliders and some changeups. The slider represented over 26% of all of his pitches in 2012. He faced the Brewers once last season and pitched eight shutout innings, holding the Crew to four hits.
He'll face 27-year-old righty Mike Fiers (4.41 ERA this spring, 3.74/3.09 ERA/FIP in 2012), who appears lined up to be the Brewers' fifth starter. Fiers is making his sixth appearance of the spring and his first since Saturday, when he worked four innings against the Reds and allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Fiers was about even against lefties and righties a year ago, but in a small sample size this spring he's struggled to get righties out. He's recorded 24 outs against lefties and 25 against righties this spring, but has also allowed righties to bat .385 against him, allowing a pair of home runs and five of his six walks.
Fiers made one excellent start against the White Sox a year ago, holding them scoreless over 7.1 innings with five hits and seven strikeouts.
Here's today's lineup:
Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Alex Gonzalez 1B
Carlos Gomez CF
Martin Maldonado DH
Jean Segura SS
Donnie Murphy 3B
The weather in Phoenix is nice again today. I'll spare you the details.
Enjoy the game!