Duke on making Opening Day roster, spring progress

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have three southpaws in the bullpen to start the season, but manager Ron Roenicke says only Zach Duke will be used as a left-handed specialist.

Will Smith, acquired in the offseason deal that sent Nori Aoki to the Royals, will be counted on to pitch in late-inning situations, Roenicke said. Wei-Chung Wang, 21, selected from Pittsburgh in the Rule 5 Draft in December, will be a long reliever.

While Duke likely will face mostly left-handed hitters, Smith and Wang will be counted on to pitch entire innings.

"Smith, we're going to pitch in high-leverage innings," Roenicke said. "The better he does, the more high-leverage they're going to be. But he's going to be getting out right-handers, too. I don't see pulling him out because a right-handed hitter is out there."

Segura feeling good following infield practice

Jean Segura on playing shortstop, Braun and more

MILWAUKEE -- It's looking more likely that Jean Segura will be in the Opening Day lineup for the Brewers on Monday when they face the Atlanta Braves.

Segura, who is nursing a sore right shoulder, took about a dozen grounders at shortstop and made strong throws to first base before Saturday's exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals. He then made several strong throws to second.

"He feels like he can go," manager Ron Roenicke said.

"I'm definitely more positive and he is, too. "He feels good. He looks happy about it. He was pleased by what happened today."

Segura will be examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch on Sunday, and will repeat his work at shortstop. Segura also will practice hitting when right-hander Wily Peralta pitches a simulated game on Sunday.

"The medical side wants to make sure we are doing the right thing," Roenicke said.

The Brewers must make a final decision by 2 p.m. CT on Sunday whether to include Segura on the Opening Day roster or place him on the disabled list. If he does go on the DL, the team could back-date his injury and Segura only could miss five games.

Gallardo armed with nasty hook this spring

Gallardo, Roenicke look ahead to Opening Day

MILWAUKEE -- Opening Day starter Yovani Gallardo says he feels he is throwing his curveball better than ever.

"Best I've thrown it, to be honest," the Brewers ace said before Saturday's exhibition game against the Royals.

Gallardo, who throws mainly fastballs and curves, went 0-2 with a 3.98 ERA in six starts this spring.

"When I was behind in the count, I was throwing it for strikes, which was my main goal," he said. "I'm very happy with it."

Gallardo said he was up for the challenge to face the potent Braves lineup on Monday.

"I'm more excited for myself to go out there on Monday and get the season underway, especially after the year I had last year," he said. "It wasn't the year I wanted to have, but that's in the past."

The right-hander said he wanted to pitch 200 innings this season, a year after going 12-10 with a 4.18 ERA.

"If you are able to do that, then everything else is going to fall into place: Wins, strikeouts," Gallardo said. "I was frustrated with that [last year] and just not being able to be consistent. I'd have a couple good starts in a row, then fall out of place for the next two or three. Then have one good one. Too many ups and downs."