PHOENIX -- Brewers starter Mark Rogers did not allow an earned run in three innings against the D-backs on Thursday, but he did not exactly cruise, either. He walked three batters and surrendered two unearned runs on an Eric Chavez homer.
But Rogers was looking at the positives after his outing, including some increased life on his fastball and the fact he was able to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam in a long first inning without allowing a run.
"I'm not sure [how many pitches I threw in that inning]. Too many," Rogers said. "It was nice to get out of it. Part of Spring Training is getting out of those jams you're going to face in the year, so it was nice to execute some pitches when I had to and get out of it. Hopefully, it goes a little smoother."
Rogers' spring has not been entirely smooth so far. He worked so hard during the offseason -- reporting daily to Maryvale Baseball Park to take advantage of the Brewers' year-round workout facility -- that he developed a tired arm after Spring Training began. In his previous outing, an early-morning exhibition against Italy's World Baseball Classic club, Rogers walked four batters in two innings.
He felt better back on the main field Thursday. Rogers is among a young trio of starters vying for a spot in the Opening Day rotation.
"I'm not sure what [my velocity] was, but I know it was better today," Rogers said. "So, it's getting there. It's just a matter of building off every bullpen, every at-bat."
Rogers was second in a run of young Brewers starting pitchers. Mike Fiers worked Wednesday against the Mariners, Tyler Thornburg is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Rangers and Wily Peralta is slated for Saturday against the Reds.
"For any of these young guys to go out right now and pitch well, I think it certainly helps their confidence as we move forward," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I'm not looking at today [as make or break], but I know they are."
Hart hopes for good results from MRI
PHOENIX -- Corey Hart will undergo a follow-up MRI scan of his surgically-repaired right knee at 9:30 a.m. MT on Friday. If it brings good news, he will lose the crutch he's been using to walk around and begin slowly ramping up rehabilitation.
The way Hart was talking Thursday, you wondered if he planned to spend the night in his car outside the clinic.
"I'm eager because I'm bored of the same stuff," Hart said.
Hart had a procedure on Jan. 25 in which the knee joint surface was debrided -- a process in which the surgeon induces bleeding around an imperfection to induce the body to fill in the gap. Hart also had a small meniscus tear repaired.
It's the imperfection -- Hart again referred to it as a microfracture -- that will be the focus of Friday's scan. Typically, a follow-up MRI is not scheduled until two months post-surgery, but Hart is having his after six weeks.
"I'm kind of a guinea pig because I've been bugging them a lot," Hart said. "I told them if they wouldn't do [an MRI], I'd go do it myself and bring it in and have them look at it.
"Even if it's not favorable, at least I'll know. I'd rather get it done just in case I can start doing more. I want to know if I can do that."
Hart is a notoriously fast healer and said the knee feels "great," but he expressed caution. Even with good news from the MRI, he is three-to-four weeks away from any baseball activity.
A good result would being another perk: Hart would be able to drive a car again. That would help, considering his driver in recent weeks, fellow first baseman Mat Gamel, will undergo a knee surgery of his own on Friday for a torn ACL. Gamel will stay in Hart's guest house during the early stages of his rehab.
• Manager Ron Roenicke said right-hander Kelvim Escobar was meeting with club officials on Thursday to determine his next step after weakness in his right hand cut short Escobar's outing against the Cubs on Sunday. The 36-year-old is trying a comeback after years of shoulder trouble.
"We'll see where he is," Roenicke said. "I think any time you're gone that long, and you've got some issues, you just have to take one day at a time and see if things go the way you hope they'll go. Sometimes, they don't. Sometimes, physically, you aren't able to bounce back."
• Left-hander Travis Webb threw another live batting practice session on Thursday, and his next step could be pitching in a game Saturday or Sunday. A non-roster invitee, Webb's debut was delayed by a strained muscle behind his shoulder.
• Infielder Jeff Bianchi has made positive strides since sustaining a left groin strain that forced him to withdraw from Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Bianchi is still a few days away from returning to game action, Roenicke said.
• The Brewers optioned left-hander Miguel De Los Santos to Double-A Huntsville and returned right-hander Jairo Asencio to Minor League camp. Neither pitcher was able to make it to Maryvale Baseball Park because of visa issues, and they remain in the Dominican Republic.
Right-handers Ariel Pena and Santo Manzanillo were also optioned to Huntsville.