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Spring Training Game Preview and Thread #-22: Brewers (5-5) v Royals (5-3)

Ned Yost and Norichika Aoki return to Maryvale this afternoon.

Mike McGinnis

The Brewers only won 13 games all of last spring. They could pick up their sixth win of the spring today when they host the Royals.

They'll be looking for that win at 2:05 Central time with Marco Estrada (5.40 ERA this spring, 3.87/3.86 ERA/FIP in 2013) on the mound. Estrada was solid against the Cubs in his second start on Monday, allowing a run on four hits with a strikeout over three innings.

Estrada is the first Brewer to make a third start this spring, so he's probably looking for something like 60 pitches and 4-5 innings today. This is the part of spring where it starts to become difficult to find innings for everyone in camp, so don't be surprised if the Brewers start sending some pitchers down soon. As of this writing they have 28 pitchers in the big league clubhouse.

Estrada has never faced the Royals in a regular season game. No current Royal has faced him more than four times before.

He'll face 23-year-old lefty John Lamb (9.00 ERA this spring, did not pitch in majors in 2013), a one-time top prospect whose star has faded a bit in recent years. Lamb was the Royals' fifth round pick in 2008 and was Baseball Prospectus' #11 prospect in all of baseball in 2011, but he's posted ERAs over 5.50 in the top levels of the minors in each of the last two seasons.

For the 2014 season, John Sickels of Minor League Ball has listed Lamb as an honorable mention on his list of the Royals' top 20 prospects. In his 2013 book Sickels said Lamb "features a 90-95 mph fastball and an excellent changeup.

Lamb has, of course, never faced the Brewers in the majors.

He'll face a Brewer lineup that includes Aramis Ramirez for the first time this spring:

After Estrada, Jim Henderson, Jimmy Nelson and Jose De La Torre are expected to pitch today.

It's another perfect day for baseball in Phoenix today. Expect a game-time temperature around 76 with light winds blowing from left to right.