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CORPORAN CATCHES ON WITH BREWERS


CORPORAN CATCHES ON WITH BREWERS
In one regard, Carlos Corporan's day was "terrible" by his own admission.

His Thursday morning flight from Nashville - where he had been playing catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers' Class AAA affiliate before being called up - was canceled. And, after being rerouted through Chicago, he arrived at Miller Park without any equipment because the airline lost his baggage.

For a guy who had to deal with some serious travel headaches, though, Corporan sure was in a good mood. He was wearing a big league uniform after all, a day after Brewers backup catcher Mike Rivera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain.

"I'm really thankful for this opportunity," a visibly excited Corporan said before Milwaukee's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Brewers chose to promote Corporan, a strong defensive backstop, over two more highly rated options: Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy. Baseball America ranked both among the organization's top 10 prospects entering the season, but the club didn't want either to lose playing time by coming to Milwaukee to back up starter Jason Kendall.

Salome was the starter ahead of Corporan at Nashville, though Corporan had played in eight of the Sounds' 20 games and was hitting better than Salome - .333 in 21 at-bats compared to .182 in 44 through Wednesday. Salome also didn't get much work in spring training because of a back injury.

Lucroy is the starter at Class AA Huntsville.

"There were other options, and we discussed it after the game and felt that this was probably the best way to go, as far as having the other guys play, the prospects, your prospects, and bring him up," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "Who knows, (Corporan) may get in."

Macha said Kendall will now catch even when Dave Bush pitches - Rivera had been catching him - so playing time for Corporan will likely be limited.

"It's 15 days. He's caught a lot of games before, so it's not going to kill him," Macha said of Kendall, who is hitting just .169 after going 1-for-4 in Thursday's 4-1 win. "I would prefer to give him a day off, so we'll see how things go. He hasn't had very good at-bats, either. ... Maybe getting a streak with a bunch of games in a row is going to help his at-bats - I hope."

That's fine with Corporan, who got the good news over the phone from Sounds manager and former Brewers infielder Don Money while shopping at a Nashville-area mall Wednesday.

Corporan is used to being a bench player - he's never played more than 99 games in a season. He's also quite familiar with the Brewers' pitching staff after spending all of spring training with the club.

"I just came here to do my job," he said.

Parra looks to pitch in Left-hander Manny Parra, who starts against Jon Garland tonight, is the only Brewers starting pitcher yet to win this season, having gone 0-4 with a 6.52 ERA so far.

But he is coming off an encouraging performance in Sunday's 3-2 loss in Houston, when he allowed three runs - but just one earned - in five innings.

"I liked his mixture of pitches (Sunday)," Macha said. "I've been encouraging him to throw his changeup. I don't have all the numbers on that, but there was a large number of changeups (Sunday) and except for maybe two hitters, he kind of got out of whack a little bit and started overthrowing again. There was some progress (Sunday), but he's still got some way to go."

Closing thoughts

Macha opted to use Carlos Villanueva to close Wednesday's 1-0 win over Pittsburgh with regular closer Trevor Hoffman having thrown two straight nights. So how long until Macha would feel comfortable using Hoffman, who missed the start of the season with an oblique strain, three straight days?

"I couldn't answer that," he said. "We'll see how things go, that's all."

New TV deal

The Brewers and Fox Sports Wisconsin announced a new long-term television rights agreement, though terms and length weren't released. Fox Sports Wisconsin, which is in its 13th season carrying Brewers games, will televise a minimum of 150 regular season games.

VITALS

Key: Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan, above, allows just one earned run over 6 1 3 innings.

Next: 7:05 p.m. today, vs. Arizona, Miller Park, FS Wisconsin.

Inside: Book poses more problems for A-Rod.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 2, 2009

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