Fielder scratched from lineup
Sore right quadriceps sidelines slugger before Cactus opener
PHOENIX -- First baseman Prince Fielder was scratched from the Brewers' first Cactus League game because of a sore right quadriceps, possibly another casualty of the team's 60-yard dash the previous day.
Brewers players were timed in a pair of sprints on Wednesday morning, and outfielder Gabe Gross suffered a mild strain to his right hamstring during his second heat. On Thursday came the news of Fielder, who wouldn't or couldn't say whether his minor injury was related to that exercise.
"I don't know," he said. "It's just normal. My leg's sore, that's all. Whether it came before or after [the sprint], I'm not sure."
Fielder did take batting practice with the rest of the team, but he walked off the field midway through the workout. The Brewers were preparing to play the Oakland A's at Maryvale Baseball Park, and Vinny Rottino was slotted into Fielder's spot at first base.
"They told me I'm not in there today, and I can't argue with it," Fielder said.
Gross and catcher Damian Miller (left calf strain) were seen by head team physician William Raasch, who confirmed the earlier diagnoses.
"He said we're just going to have to see how it reacts day-to-day," said Gross, who missed the final month of last season when he strained the other hamstring. "I feel like I'm able to move around the day after better than I was last year. But it's still sore."
The injury came at a bad time for Gross, who was part of a spirited competition for outfield spots. Does he think the 60-yard dash was a bad idea?
"I'm not going to say it was a bad idea or a good idea," he said. "It was part of camp. It happened. We ran it. Hopefully, this will only be a minor thing for me. ... To me, if you're going to get hurt, you'd rather be in a game, but like I said, I'm sure everyone from the players to management hate to see someone hurt, but it was their decision that to be a part of this camp we were going to be timed in the 60, so we did it."
Brewers Minor Leaguers have for years been timed in the 60-yard dash in Spring Training, and the team uses that data as a benchmark. General manager Doug Melvin defended the decision to gather data on the big leaguers.
"We start games [Thursday]," he said. "He could have blown out then. If you're going to blow out on a straight 60, you could blow out trying to score from first base. I want guys to have the mentality that running is important. It should be part of their mentality, from the Minor Leagues to the Major Leagues."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.