Despite the many injuries the Brewers suffered during spring training, they were in good spirits as they prepared to open the season Thursday in Cincinnati.
"We can pull it together and I think we have the last couple of days," said first-year manager Ron Roenicke, whose team raised hopes over the winter by trading for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to bolster the rotation.
"I don't think all the distractions have thrown us off that much. I think we're fine with where we are. Obviously, when we get those guys back we're going to be better. We're missing some really good players. But I'm fine with where we are."
One of those players missing is Greinke, who cracked a rib shortly after spring camp opened while playing pickup basketball. Greinke was expected to be the Brewers' Opening Day pitcher before that injury, but Roenicke was confident in his Plan B, right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
The other regulars missing at the start of the season are right fielder Corey Hart and catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Hart suffered a strain left oblique that lingered much longer than expected, and Lucroy broke his right pinkie finger early in camp. Both hope to rejoin the Brewers by mid-April.
The other two players who are opening on the DL are relievers Manny Parra (back) and LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder). But the Brewers figure they have plenty of coverage there by taking eight relief pitchers and only four starters to open the season.
The Brewers can get by with four starters until next week, when they will need a No. 5 for the first time. Right-hander Marco Estrada probably will be recalled from the minors to make that start.
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