'It's just surreal': Brewers' Gillies back on mound after cancer battle

by Adam McCalvy

PHOENIX -- Tyler Gillies threw his 16 pitches and thanked his catcher. Then he found Jeff Paxson, the athletic trainer going on 28 seasons in the Brewers' organization who was with Gillies at Class A Wisconsin in 2019, the year Gillies was a 24-year-old out of nowhere who powered his way through a promising season as a reliever.

This time, there was nothing high leverage about the situation. Gillies worked on a bullpen mound at American Family Fields of Phoenix on Saturday during the first week of what the Brewers have dubbed a “Build-Up Camp” for prospects who might benefit from some extra time before Minor League Spring Training begins in earnest. Gillies was just getting his work in.

And yet his voice bellowed as he approached Paxson.

“That felt [bleeping] great!” Gillies said.

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