The free, public event will take place in the Fireside Lounge of the Student Union on Tuesday, Feb. 6, eight days before the Brewers start spring training. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the event runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. There will be free food, and attendees will have the chance to take their photo with Brewers mascots and win Brewers prizes while supplies last.
The Brewers fell one game short of a wild card playoff spot in 2017 and finished second in the National League’s Central Division. Much of last season’s roster has remained intact for another run at the postseason, and the team has bolstered the roster, too. Its pitching staff acquired arms such as reliever Matt Albers, starter Jhoulys Chacin and former Brewer Yovani Gallardo.
The team also swung for the fences and landed two, blue-chip outfielders. Former Brewer and 2015 All-Star Lorenzo Cain returned on a five-year contract, and general manager David Stearns traded for Christian Yelich – a 26-year-old rising star with a Silver Slugger Award and Gold Glove Award already in his trophy case.
Baseball season is in full swing for the Panthers, too. While Grindle and Levering talk Brewers, UWM head coach Scott Doffek and the 2018 Panther squad will be practicing in preparation for their upcoming season. The Panthers finished 2017 with a 10-18 record – second last in the Horizon League – but hope to rise through the ranks with a roster that returns six seniors.
That group includes infielder Ben Chally, who earned All-Horizon League honors last season after posting a .327 batting average – eighth best in the league. There’s also hope that Clayton Uselman can replicate some of the magic he had on the mound – a perfect 0.00 earned run average in six appearances before missing the rest of his 2017 season due to injury. Senior pitcher Joshua Serio will also make his Panther debut in 2018; he sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Since 1993, 37 Panthers have been selected in the MLB drafted. Fifteen of those selections have been made by the Brewers – more than any other MLB franchise. That includes catcher Mitch Ghelfi and pitcher Josh Uhen, who are expected to start 2018 with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Class AA Biloxi Shuckers, respectively.
Two Panthers were drafted last year. Catcher Daulton Varsho was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round and started his pro career with the minor-league Hillsboro Hops – the Diamondbacks’ Class A Short Season affiliate. Pitcher Adam Reuss was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 29th round. He started his journey in rookie ball with the AZL Athletics of the Arizona League.