Notes: Weeks to see doctor this week
Brewers want precautionary exam of surgically repaired wrist
PHOENIX -- Brewers manager Ned Yost said it's "way too soon" for red flags, but Rickie Weeks' sore right wrist was concerning enough for the club to schedule a visit this week with the doctor who performed Weeks' offseason surgery.
Weeks will see Dr. Don Sheridan, the Phoenix-based hand specialist who last August repaired the sheath of a tendon on the outside portion of Weeks' wrist. Brewers officials categorized the visit as precautionary.
"We want to make sure that he gets the green light from the doctor to progress to the next level," said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who indicated the "next level" involves hitting against live pitching. "There's no setback. He started to hit this week and had a little soreness, and we want to make sure it's no big deal."
Added Yost: "There's a little soreness, but that's natural because we're working him into it. He's not limited in defense or throwing or anything. It's just the vicious swinging the bat against the pitchers that we're trying to stay away from."
Yost said he expects Weeks to be hitting live pitching "within the next week or so." The player, for his part, was not concerned.
"[Sheridan] told me back in October to come see him when I got to Spring Training," said Weeks, who made his first appearance at Maryvale Baseball Park on Sunday. "It's sore from scar tissue trying to break up."
Weeks took a couple rounds of live batting practice on his own last week in Florida, where he works out during the offseason with Cardinals infielder David Eckstein and Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez. Eckstein's brother, Rick, threw to Weeks.
Weeks, who played his last game on July 24, 2006, before succumbing to surgery, admitted that he's anxious to get back to full strength.
"I've been anxious since the day I got hurt back in July," Weeks said. "It's something you have to go through. Take it for what it is."
Koskie update: Third baseman Corey Koskie's search for answers about his lingering post-concussion syndrome took him last week to the University of Buffalo and will continue this week at the University of Pittsburgh before the veteran travels to Phoenix for Spring Training.
Koskie, who suffered a concussion last July 5 and has yet to resume baseball activities, traveled first to Buffalo, where doctors have had some success rehabbing hockey players who suffered concussions, and according to Ash have prescribed a six-step program that Koskie will begin once he reports. Koskie was then to travel to Pittsburgh for a visit with Dr. Michael Collins, an expert on concussions who examined Koskie last summer.
"Corey himself talks about improvement, but not improvement to the point of getting on the field yet," Ash said. "The game plan is that when he arrives, he will not do any baseball activity right away."
Backup infielders Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino and top offensive prospect Ryan Braun are the leading candidates to see time at third base in place of Koskie.
Full slate: Ash joked that it might be some kind of record. By Sunday, the first day of organized workouts for pitchers and catchers and five days before position players were required to report, 48 of the team's 55 Spring Training invitees were in camp.
"Part of the strength of our club is the desire we have to work hard to get better," Yost said. "We don't require anybody to come. It just shows the desire these guys have to get after it."
Physical exams ate up the whole morning, so players did not take the field until about 1:30 p.m. MST for their two and a half hour workout. Pitchers worked on fielding and bunting, two areas in which Yost wants to see improvement this season.
All players passed their physicals, according to Ash, who oversees the club's medical program. The only pitcher limited on Sunday was right-hander Vince Perkins, who missed 2006 with an elbow injury and is expected to throw on Monday. Ash said the team was particularly pleased with results for former first-round draft pick Mike Jones, who experienced more shoulder problems last season and pitched poorly in a brief stint in the Mexican Winter League.
Players yet to report include infielders Ozzie Chavez and Hernan Iribarren, who will be traveling from out of the country, first baseman Prince Fielder, Graffanino, outfielder Gabe Gross and Koskie.
Nice digs: Count Yovani Gallardo, arguably Milwaukee's top pitching prospect, among the players enjoying their first Major League Spring Training. The big-league facilities are decidedly more spacious than the Minor League complex across the street, the spread is more appetizing and the per diem is a plus.
"Better everything," Gallardo said. "I can't complain about anything."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.