Big League Stew - MLB

MARYVALE, Ariz. — At least every Racing Sausage crossed the finish line upright.

That was my positive-spin takeaway from my visit to see the Milwaukee Brewers on the second-to-last stop of our fourth annual spring swing.

Seriously, the Crew might want to think about converting that delicious-looking merchandise trailer pictured above into an ambulance if things get any worse. While optimism was deservedly high at the start of camp, it's waning a bit as a few medical issues pop up.

The latest bad news came on Thursday afternoon, when tightness in the right shoulder of  No. 2 starter Shaun Marcum(notes) halted his appearance after three innings of one-hit ball. "Geez, we're in a tough spot if he's down for a while," new manager Ron Roenicke said after the game, a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

It isn't known how long the injury will keep the former Toronto Blue Jay out and Marcum, of course, offered all the usual spring training injury lines afterward.

He could have played if it were the regular season.

He'd rather miss two weeks now than two months later.

Maybe the tightness will go away the next time he throws and he'll still be ready to go on April 2.

Which would all sound fine and good if two of the Brewers' top three starters weren't currently on the mend and the team wasn't running out of all the medical supplies they trucked down from Milwaukee last month.

Let's take a look at the old clipboard, shall we?

• Pitching ace Zack Greinke(notes) is out with a case of Dennis Rodman after injuring himself while playing basketball. He'll miss the season's first few weeks with a cracked rib.

• All-Star Ryan Braun(notes) strained his ribs last Saturday while crashing into the wall during a fungo drill. Repeat: A fungo drill. He's expected to be fine, but still: A fungo drill.

• Right fielder Corey Hart(notes) hasn't played in a game all spring because of, you guessed it, a rib injury! He expressed doubt on Wednesday that he'll be ready for opening day.

• Then there's the rest of it, as detailed by's medical transcriptionist Adam McCalvy (a man who is certainly earning his paycheck these days):

"Catcher Jonathan Lucroy(notes) for a fractured finger, center fielder Carlos Gomez(notes) and reliever Manny Parra(notes) for stiff backs ... second baseman Rickie Weeks(notes) for a tight groin, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt(notes) for a sore quadriceps and reliever Takashi Saito(notes) for a tight hip and hamstring. They also nursed closer John Axford(notes) back from food poisoning and have been closely monitoring LaTroy Hawkins(notes) as he makes his way back from shoulder surgery."

He miss anyone?

I'd say that Roenicke and his team are more than anxious to head back to Milwaukee and start the season before anyone else goes down, though it's probably a benefit that they still have two more weeks to heal all the various bumps and bruises.

Also on the bright side: None of the injuries sustained have been described as season-ending and Dr. James Andrews' name has never come up.

At least not yet, anyway.  Get well soon, Brew Crew.

'Duk is in Arizona's Cactus League this week, finishing up Big League Stew's Spring Swing. Follow his trip on Twitter and Facebook

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