Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 2/22/12
Last season, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was asked repeatedly about the team's lack of a left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Roenicke never seemed overly concerned with that, saying he'd much rather have a right-hander who pitches well than have a lefty just for the sake of having a lefty. He likely won't face such questions this season. The Brewers' bullpen will again be anchored by Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, but with LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito gone, a host of other pitchers are hoping to step up and fill those roles. Among that group are left-handers Manny Parra and Zach Braddock. Having a left-handed specialist isn't a big deal to Roenicke, who prefers a pitcher who can work to batters on both sides of the plate. "If it's a lights-out lefty specialist, that's different, but I would much rather have a guy that can get the right hand around," Roenicke said. "With Zack and his right fastball, that's going to happen. And same thing with Manny, with the live fastball with a split-finger. Yeah, he should be able to go through innings." Overall, Roenicke is pleased with the way his bullpen could shape up. "I like our bullpen," Roenicke said. "I like our pitching staff again. I know losing the two guys you talk about, but I think we did a nice job replacing (them), and I think one of the other guys who was hurt last year is coming back. I think that gives us, hopefully, the same as what we had last year." Weeks is ready: Roenicke said Wednesday that second baseman Rickie Weeks appears to be back to full strength. Weeks missed 39 games after suffering a severely sprained ankle July 27 against the Cubs. When he returned to the lineup in early September, Weeks was far from fully recovered but played through the pain and limped into the postseason, hitting .243 down the stretch. Roenicke has no plans to hold Weeks back during spring camp unless the All-Star says he needs to rest but acknowledges that Weeks might be a slightly different player moving forward. "I'm not planning on holding him back at all unless something turns up with it," Roenicke said. "Just personal experience, I tore up an ankle like he did, and it really never is the same. Now does that change the way you play? No, but you never have the total flash that you do before; you feel it more often. But it doesn't really affect what you do. It would be almost like a guy aging, just maybe he's a tad slower. I'm not saying that Rickie will be, but anytime you sprain an ankle that bad, it's never the same." No news yet: There has been no decision yet on left fielder Ryan Braun's appeal of a positive drug test, leaving his status in doubt for opening day. A verdict is expected before the team's first full workout, scheduled for Saturday, but in the meantime, his teammates have voiced their support. "He's not here yet, so the media circus hasn't really hit us yet," pitcher Shaun Marcum said. "My personal opinion, I think he's going to win it, and when he does it'll be nice so he can deal with it one day with the press if he wants to and put it behind him. Then we can all put it behind us and go out there and focus on our job, which, like I said earlier, is getting back to the postseason. For now, we just focus on baseball and not worry about anything that happened in the offseason or anything like that, so it'll be nice when he gets here and we can go do all that." Interviews for this report were provided by the Milwaukee Brewers. Follow Andrew Wagner on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker