Milwaukee Brewers: Prospect Corbin Burnes impresses in game one

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10 Mar 1998: A general view of a group of baseballs on home plate during a spring training game against the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees at Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. The Yankees tied the Royals 6-6.
10 Mar 1998: A general view of a group of baseballs on home plate during a spring training game against the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees at Baseball City Stadium in Davenport, Florida. The Yankees tied the Royals 6-6. /
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Corbin Burnes stood out with a vicious, controlled fastball for the Milwaukee Brewers’ first Spring Training game of 2018 on Friday, February 23.

The Milwaukee Brewers played two games to open their 2018 Spring Training play today. MLB Network televised their game against the Chicago Cubs.

The attendance was just shy of 4,100 on this cool day at the Maryvale facility that homes the Brewers, but the cheers of Cubs fans resonated like usual.

The Brewers had some sloppy defensive moments. Domingo Santana looked just as heavy-footed in right field during this Spring Training game as he had during the 2017 regular season.

That being said, he doubled twice and looked good at the plate.

Brewers offense struggles against Cubs

Other than Santana, no Brewers player stood out at the plate.

Milwaukee’s trend of failing to score runs from third base with less than two outs continued into 2018.

Early in the game the Brewers put a runner on third with nobody out. Orlando Arcia grounded softly to third and Jesus Aguilar struck out.

What’s worse is that those players are not scrubs. Aricia and Aguilar played key roles on the 2017 Brewers. Hopefully Milwaukee improves on fundamentals as Spring Training 2018 rolls on.

The Brewers need to get better maximizing opportunities at the plate to make a post-season run this year. In the playoffs, they will face ace pitchers and relievers who rarely give up home runs.

Milwaukee will need to manufacture more runs to improve on last year’s surprising season. That means taking advantage of third base and less than two out scenarios.

New acquisition Christian Yelich chased down a hard drive on the first pitch and singled in his Spring Training  debut with his new club.

Aguilar missed some pitches that hung in the zone against Cubs pitching. With Ryan Braun taking grounders at first base this Spring Training, Aguilar needs to hit the cover off the ball to make the 2018 roster. Right now, it is hard to see where Aguilar fits in with the 2018 Brewers unless there’s an injury.

Burnes highlights in 2018 Spring Training debut

One of the Milwaukee Brewers top prospects, Corbin Burnes did not even have to show his off-speed stuff to impress everyone watching this Spring Training game.

The temperature might have been abnormally low on this sunny afternoon in Arizona, but Burnes warmed up the radar gun with a cutting fastball that he pounded the Cubs with up in the zone. Cubs hitters looked overmatched and Burnes picked up his dominance with each hitter, striking out his third adversary.

Burnes began 2017 in Single-A, but he might be a key member of the 2018 Major League roster. He could also get moved if the Brewers decide to make a big trade. Every time he pitches, he becomes more valuable to Milwaukee.

Brewers start 2018 Spring Training with a win

Brent Suter moved the ball around the strike zone well during the first inning. Suter will have to continue putting up zeroes to make the 2018 rotation.

Suter added 20 lbs. of muscle to prepare himself to be a starter. He will compete for the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation. Junior Guerra will also compete for a rotation spot. Guerra, the Brewers 2017 Opening Day starter, pitched an inning as well. He began his 2018 Spring Training off well by keeping the Cubs off the board.

Jett Bandy struggled with pitch-framing and the defense looked sloppy. These flaws were especially evident during Guerra’s inning. However, he kept his composure and stranded runners.

Next: Would the Brewers regret dealing Brett Phillips?

Former Yankees farmhand Tyler Webb looked solid with a looping left-handed curve during his inning. However, Oliver Drake got knocked around and NRI pitcher Ernesto Frieri looked anything but dominating in their first 2018 Spring Training games. Frequent social media contributor Tim Dillard had control issues, but got out of his inning. Nick Ramirez once played first base in the Milwaukee Brewers system. He pitches now, and he pitches well. Ramirez worked an easy ninth inning for the save.

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