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Suppan marching on despite slip-ups: Starter sticking to spring plan

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McClatchy Tribune
March 3, 2009
— Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jeff Suppan doesn’t care much about spring-training results. His focus is always progressing to the start of the season with a step-by-step process.

But some people do look at results, and Suppan allowed three runs in the first inning of his second start against the San Diego Padres on Monday.


After recording the first out, Suppan allowed consecutive walks before Emil Brown powered one out of the park in the Padres’ 4-3 victory at Peoria Sports Complex.


Suppan settled down after that, allowing two more hits in his three innings of work, but no more runs.


“I was happy with how the next two innings went,” Suppan said. “I always have a plan. The first start, I worked on fastball, changeup. It was downhill plane today and mix in the curveball.


”The two walks weren’t way out of the zone, but they were balls. The (home run) was a sinker. I was trying to jam him but it was middle-up.“


Suppan said the walks bothered him more than the home run, and Brewers manager Ken Macha agreed.


”The difference was the walks,“ Macha said. ”I got a count and I think he had nine balls and four strikes with his fastball in the first inning.“


Corey Hart continued his nice spring, going 3 for 3 with a two-run home run and a double. He is 7 for 10 overall and all three balls hit Monday were lasers.


”The most important pitch of that at-bat wasn’t the homer,“ Macha said. ”It was the first-pitch slider that he laid off of. He got ahead, then ripped it.“


Prince Fielder, after being visibly frustrated with a strikeout in his first at-bat, roped a double into the right-field corner in his second turn.


All in the family

Right-hander Cody Scarpetta did not throw the ball well Monday morning in his one inning of work in the Brewers’ ‘’B“ game against the L.A. Dodgers. But this is pretty heady stuff for Scarpetta, just being in big-league camp.


Scarpetta, an 11th-round draft pick in 2007, had to be protected on the 40-man roster over the winter because of a technicality. The contract he signed after being drafted was voided because he had a finger injury and the new deal he got accelerated his path to being protected.


Scarpetta’s father, Dan, was a third-round draft pick by the Brewers in 1982, the year Dale Sveum was taken in the first round. He played in the farm system from 1982-’83 and again from 1985-’88.


Dan was on hand with wife Leeann to watch his son struggle against the Dodgers, with Cody allowing three hits, one walk and two wild pitches in one inning. The younger Scarpetta is still getting his feet on the ground after pitching only 36 innings in the minors because of the finger injury.


”We’re hoping Cody gets assigned to Appleton this year,“ said Dan Scarpetta, referring to the Brewers’ new Class A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. ”We live in Rockford (Ill.) and that would let us see him pitch.


“Cody’s very excited to be in big-league camp.”


Left-hander Chris Narveson threw the ball well in the “B” game, pitching three hitless innings. Minor-league outfielders Lee Haydel (single, homer, two RBI), Logan Schafer (RBI double) and Erik Miller (RBI double) all contributed to the 4-3 victory.


There was an ugly incident in that game when Dodgers prospect Ivan DeJesus Jr. was injured in a collision at the plate with catcher Carlos Corporan.


DeJesus reportedly suffered a broken leg on that play.


Parra gets work

Left-hander Manny Parra won’t make his next start in an actual game since the Brewers have a day off Wednesday. No “B” game was scheduled because the club couldn’t find any takers.


So Parra will throw in a minor-league scrimmage at Maryvale Baseball Park in a simulated game to get his work done.



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