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News » Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-03-01
Non-roster outfielders Trot Nixon and Chris Duffy won't be able to complain about their playing time in the Brewers' spring camp.

The Brewers had a small supply of healthy outfielders that decreased by one when left fielder Ryan Braun left to join Team USA in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Only four outfielders are on the 40-man roster, and one of them, Tony Gwynn Jr., has been unable to play because of a shoulder impingement.

"It's an opportunity for Nixon and Duffy to get out there," manager Ken Macha said. "They're going to have a chance to make the club. We'll be testing our versatility out there."

Nixon, 34, was a fixture in the Boston lineup in right field for years before signing with Cleveland as a free agent before the 2007 season. He signed a minor league deal with Arizona last year and later was traded to the New York Mets but eventually was sidelined in July and had sports hernia surgery.

Macha, who managed Nixon in Boston's system, and hitting coach Dale Sveum, who worked with him as a coach for the Red Sox, both recommended he be given a chance in the Brewers' camp.

"They're solid baseball people, and I'm very grateful for their support," Nixon said. "At this part of my career, it doesn't hurt to know people to get a door opened up.

"It's an opportunity, and I couldn't have been more blessed or lucky because this is the organization I wanted to come to from the get-go."

Duffy was considered Pittsburgh's center fielder of the future before shoulder surgery near the end of the 2007 season derailed his career. He played only 30 games in the minors last season.

Sveum, who managed Duffy in Pittsburgh's farm system in 2003, also put in a word for him to be invited to camp.

"I remember he's as good a center fielder as I had ever seen on a daily basis, either playing or coaching," Sveum said. "He was very fundamentally sound. We used to make jokes about when he was going to miss his first cutoff man.

"He's a great baserunner and base stealer, a hard-nosed guy who played every day. When his shoulder is healthy, he's a guy who can do some things to help you out."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 1, 2009

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