PHOENIX (AP) — So far, so good for the Milwaukee Brewers in spring training following an injury-filled 2013 season.
Granted, it's early, and the full squad has yet to report to camp. But things couldn't get much worse than the injury situation that plagued Milwaukee last year.
"We'd be a pretty good club being healthy. We can't afford injuries over an extended period of time. I don't think anybody can in the game today," general manager Doug Melvin said Tuesday.
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was limited by a thumb injury and drug suspension last season. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez missed time with a left knee injury.
And those were just the two biggest names — more than 600 at-bats missed between the team's best hitters, Melvin has estimated.
The fourth-place finish in the NL Central and 74-88 record stung. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio last month said keeping the team healthy was the top priority at the start of this season.
Thumb and knee injuries sometimes can't be avoided. "Freak" injuries, like getting hit by a pitch in the wrist or getting spiked on a hard play at second, can strike any team at any time.
But other nagging injuries might be avoidable.
"We're hoping that we do things right in training and conditioning to minimize the pulled hamstrings, obliques, things like that," manager Ron Roenicke said at media day for Arizona spring training teams held at Chase Field.