Feb 11, 2015 11:15 AM

Milwaukee's Lucroy to miss 4-to-6 weeks of spring training

The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy will miss four to six weeks of spring training for the Milwaukee Brewers because of a strain of his right hamstring.

The injury is near the top of Lucroy's hamstring, close to the hip, an area that had given Lucroy a little trouble at the end of last season, assistant general manager Gord Ash said Wednesday.

Lucroy was fine when he was examined on Jan. 26 in Milwaukee at the time of the team's winter fan outreach event, Ash said. The Brewers are unsure how Lucroy aggravated the injury.

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to the team's spring training facility next week in Arizona. Ash said he was hopeful that Lucroy would be ready for the April 6 opener against Colorado.

"One thing we wanted to make clear here, he can still throw, he can still hit," Ash said. Lucroy will also get more work on the practice field at first base, as the Brewers had planned, though he won't get game experience this spring.

Lucroy won't run, or do any other activities that might further strain the injury

The injury doesn't change the long-term plans to get the right-handed Lucroy as many s 30 games at first, Ash said. It's a way to keep Lucroy's bat in the lineup while limiting his workload behind the plate.

Left-handed hitting Adam Lind, acquired in the offseason from Toronto for pitcher Marco Estrada, is expected to be the regular first baseman in Milwaukee.

Lucroy started 133 games at catcher last year, hit .301 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs, and finished fourth in voting for the NL MVP award. He was one of the few regulars in an otherwise free-swinging lineup who was able to consistently work counts.

Ash said Lucroy mentioned he had some concern about his right hamstring at the end of last season, and Lucroy told doctors that he was having trouble with the hamstring in November.

He was cleared in late January. The team said that Lucroy's agent told general manager Doug Melvin last weekend that the hamstring was bothering him.

Lucroy was diagnosed with the injury by the team doctor on Monday. Another examination on Tuesday confirmed the extent of the injury.

Melvin is already in Arizona. Ash said his boss is optimistic and "pleasantly surprised" with the progress made by injured right-handed relievers Tyler Thornburg and Jim Henderson. Thornburg (right elbow) and Henderson (right shoulder) were each lost during the middle of the 2014 season.

"Given what we're seeing here, barring early setbacks, they're viable candidates," Ash said, "which is very good news for us."


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