February 20, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) It took a little while for Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse to get over the sting of the 2014 season.

A 9-22 finish dropped Milwaukee out of first place and right out of playoff contention.

The wait is over. It's time to look forward again for the Brewers with pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to spring training on Friday.

''Obviously, we were all pretty disappointed with how it ended there, but there comes a time when you just have to turn the page,'' Lohse said. ''That's going to be the main thing here, is we can't change what happened last year.

''We just have to let it go and not let it affect anything moving forward, just like one game to another,'' he said last month at a Brewers' fan event in Milwaukee.

The full squad must report to the team's training complex in Phoenix by Wednesday.

There is no getting around it: Airing out any issues lingering from the end of last season will be important for a team didn't make major changes in the offseason.

''I'll say something about it but it's in the past,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''We need to learn from it but we need to move on.''

But not without an unexpected obstacle after Jonathan Lucroy was diagnosed last week with a strained right hamstring that will keep the All-Star catcher out of spring games for four to six weeks.

Lucroy started 136 games behind the plate last season, when he hit .301 with 13 homers, 69 RBIs and a franchise-record 53 doubles. Lucroy won't run in the spring, though he hopes to do almost everything else on the practice fields.

On the mound, Milwaukee will start spring training without its incumbent closer, as Francisco Rodriguez is still a free agent. The All-Star reliever went 44 of 49 in save opportunities last season.

Without Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton would be the favorite to close. The right-hander previously closed games with the Dodgers and Royals.

The Brewers are also hoping that young right-hander Jimmy Nelson can assume the spot in the pitching rotation left open following the trade of veteran Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers.

Pitcher Marco Estrada is also gone after being dealt to Toronto for first baseman Adam Lind, further sapping the Brewers' starting pitching depth.

So young starters will have the opportunities to make an impression in trying to make the team in long relief. Last month, general manager Doug Melvin said that he saw touted prospect Taylor Jungmann, who is slated to start the season at Triple-A, as the sixth starter.

Besides Lohse and Nelson, the Brewers' rotation includes Wily Peralta, Matt Garza and Mike Fiers.

''We feel comfortable one through five,'' Melvin said. ''We still have to determine who would step in and be a starter if someone went down with an injury. We don't have that answer right now.''

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