May 2010

Davis reunites with Brewers, could linger on DL

After a positive week of rest and light workouts, Brewers left-hander Doug Davis had a recurrence of chest pain on Monday night and conceded he might need more than the minimum 15 days on the disabled list. 

Davis is on the disabled list with pericarditis, an acute inflammation of the lining around the heart. The painful condition first struck in the wee hours of May 15 and Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day. He has been on a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication since then. 
“I think last night I regressed a little bit,” Davis said. “I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. But I took my painkillers and that was that. … It was a lot of pain to lay down and take deep breaths.”
Davis did not accompany the team on its just-completed road trip. After a check-up on Thursday he was cleared to play catch, and did so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He followed Sunday’s catch with a very light workout and felt fine most of Monday before experiencing chest pain at night.
He’s not sure when he’ll see the doctor next, or when he will be able to return to the mound.
“I wish I could give you a time frame,” Davis said. “I wish I had a time frame myself. My wife, my kids, everybody wishes that. It all depends on symptoms.”
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Lucroy makes first Major League start

After making his Major League debut over the weekend in Minneapolis, catcher Jonathan Lucroy is in the starting lineup tonight for the first time in his big league career as the Brewers return home to host the Astros.

When Lucroy was called up on Friday, manager Ken Macha suggested Lucroy’s best chance to start would be with veteran lefty Randy Wolf — who is tonight’s starter — on the mound. Lucroy will bat eighth for the Brewers, behind shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Here’s the rest of the lineup:
Weeks  2B
Gomez  CF
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
McGehee  3B
Hart  RF
Escobar  SS
Lucroy  C
Wolf  P
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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Sunday scrambler

It promises to be a very interesting Sunday afternoon for the Brewers, who will try to avoid a three-game Twins sweep behind Marco Estrada, who appeared in relief on Saturday afternoon. In case you missed it, here’s my story from yesterday detailing the postgame moves.

And here’s the lineup, which was changed at some point in the hours before game time. Ryan Braun was originally to serve as the DH with Jody Gerut in left field Casey McGehee at third. Instead, Braun played left, McGehee was the DH and Craig Counsell the third baseman. So here’s the updated list:
Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  DH
Corey Hart  RF
Craig Counsell  3B
Alcides Escobar  SS
George Kottaras  C
RHP Marco Estrada
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Estrada to start Sunday; Braddock coming up

Sunday’s series finale could be a bit of a scramble for the Brewers. 

The team optioned left-hander Mitch Stetter to Triple-A Nashville after Saturday’s long loss to the Twins and recalled another left-hander, Zach Braddock, to serve as a fresh arm in the bullpen. Marco Estrada, who threw 21 pitches in relief today, will start Sunday’s series finale. Manager Ken Macha said that Manny Parra, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday, said he could also work a couple of innings of needed after he threw 29 pitches in 1 2/3 innings on Saturday in taking the loss. 

Why aren’t the Brewers bringing up a starter from Nashville? Logistics. With a 1 p.m. CT game on Sunday and the Triple-A club in Fresno, Calif., no flights were available that would get a pitcher to Minneapolis in time. 
The Brewers also considered a promotion for Double-A Huntsville’s Amaury Rivas, who already is on the 40-man roster, but again travel issues blocked the move. 
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Attanasio: No staff changes on tap

Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio stood stanchly behind his general manager and field manager on Saturday, saying Doug Melvin has total job security and that Ken Macha will not be dismissed on Monday, an off-day widely speculated as an opportunity for the team to make some changes. 
Of Melvin, the GM whom Attanasio inherited when he purchased the Brewers in September 2004, Attanasio said, “Doug Melvin is very, very secure. You’re not going to see any GM changes here. Absolutely not. Doug Melvin has built up too much credibility. You’re going to have to a lot more than even a bad season for him to have any issues with his job security. To all of our fans, look, it feels great to get it off your chest, but you’re going to have to be dealing with our general manager for a long time.”
And of Macha, the embattled Brewers manager, Attanasio said, “I can tell you, unequivocally, we are not making a manager change on Monday. There will be no news on that on Monday. We could lose the next two games 15-3 and we’re not making a manager change on Monday.”
Which begged the follow-up, what about Tuesday?
“Doug needs to make those decisions, and Doug has been pretty firm in his support of Ken so I’m going to fall into line,” Attanasio said. 
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Braun at DH for Game 2

Ryan Braun is getting a day off in the field, but he’s still in the lineup for Game 2 of the Brewers-Twins Interleague Series. It’s rainy here at Target Fielder but we’ve been assured that it will be beautiful at game time, so here we go:

Rickie Weeks  2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  DH
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Corey Hart RF
Joe Inglett  LF
Alcides Escobar SS
George Kottaras  C
RHP Yovani Gallardo
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If there's retribution, Gomez will 'take it like a man'

Carlos Gomez launched a three-run home run down the left field line in the eighth inning Friday against his former team, flipped his bat and gave it a good, long look. He realized later that he had made a big mistake. 
First, by hitting Twins catcher Joe Mauer with his bat. Second, he celebrated a home run that cut the deficit to 15-3. 
“I have to apologize,” Gomez said. “It’s nothing I’ve got personal. I got so excited. Right now, I feel bad because [Twins pitcher Nick] Blackburn is one of the good friends I’ve got over there. I apologize because I don’t want to try to show him up. If they’re going to do something tomorrow, I’ll take it like a man because I know I did bad. …
“I feel, right now, real bad for this. It was not the right moment to do it. I wasn’t thinking, ‘If I hit a home run, I’m going to do this.’ It happened in the moment, and it happened. We have to be more professional.”
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Gomez in, Weeks out, McGehee the DH

The Brewers optioned outfielder Adam Stern back to Triple-A Nashville on Friday to clear a spot for center fielder Carlos Gomez, who returned from the 15-day disabled list and is in the starting lineup against the Twins for the opener of a three-game Interleague Series. Casey McGehee will serve as the designated hitter, a chance to rest his surgically-repaired knee. 
Joe Inglett 2B
Carlos Gomez  CF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  DH
Corey Hart  RF
Craig Counsell  3B
George Kottaras  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
UPDATE at 4:15 — I mistakenly wrote Rickie Weeks’ name into the lineup this afternoon, perhaps because he had started each of the Brewers’ first 41 games. But he’s out, probably because he has five hits in his last 42 at-bats, and Joe Inglett is making the start. Inglett has one hit in three career at-bats against Blackburn, a home run. 
A couple of additional tidbits:
- Jody Gerut is not expected to re-join the team until Saturday. That means the Brewers will once again be a man short on Friday night. 
- Assistant general manager Gord Ash called to pass along some news items that have already been published elsewhere this afternoon. Zach Braddock is not joining the team after all, a decision likely made after Jonathan Lucroy was needed to replace injured catcher Gregg Zaun. Neither Braddock nor Lucroy were on the 40-man roster before today, and the team was not willing to clear two spots. Lucroy was Braddock’s roommate in Nashville and said he felt bad. 
- Rehabbing left-hander Chris Capuano had a May 20 “out” in his contract but both sides agreed to extend that date to May 29, giving Capuano two more starts for Triple-A Nashville. If he’s not added to the Major League roster by that date, Capuano can elect free agency if he wishes. Or, he can simply continue pitching for the Sounds. 
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Zaun expected to hit DL; Lucroy coming up

Injuries keep biting Brewers veterans. The latest to go down is catcher Gregg Zaun, who suffered a strained right shoulder in Thursday’s win over the Pirates and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
Zaun is expected to be replaced before an Interleague Series against the Twins by Triple-A Nashville’s Jonathan Lucroy, a 23-year-old considered Milwaukee’s top catching prospect in lieu of Angel Salome’s recent personal problems. Unlike Salome, Lucroy is not on the Brewers’ full 40-man roster, so a corresponding move will be necessary to free him a spot. 
Zaun, meanwhile, will travel back to Milwaukee to see Brewers doctors. 
“They’re going to send me home to have it looked at and we’ll figure out what’s what when we get there,” Zaun said. 
Zaun’s shoulder has not been right since a home plate collision with Washington’s Ian Desmond in mid-April. He developed what he described as a “knot” in the joint which led to some embarrassing throwing problems in an April 26 game against the Pirates, but had overcome the injury with regular treatment. 
He tweaked the shoulder on a swinging strike in the second inning on Thursday, a few pitches before Zaun was struck on the left hand by a pitch that also struck the handle of his bat. A few pitches after that, Zaun managed to hit a run-scoring groundout that brought the team to within a run of the Pirates at 3-2 in an eventual 4-3 win. Zaun was replaced the next half-inning by George Kottaras, who figures to see regular duty behind the plate in Zaun’s absence. 
Adding Lucroy to the 40-man roster could complicate the other addition being mulled by Brewers officials, who were poised Thursday to add left-handed relief prospect Zach Braddock to a big league bullpen undergoing a facelift in recent days. Braddock is also not on the 40-man roster. 
The Brewers will likely make the moves official by midday Friday.
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Gomez to the rescue; Braddock, too?

Jody Gerut returned home to Chicago on Thursday morning for the birth of a child, leaving the Brewers’ short bench even shorter. And that was before catcher Gregg Zaun left the team’s game against the Pirates in the second inning with a strained right shoulder. 
Zaun’s diagnosis came as a surprise considering he appeared to hurt his left hand in the top of the second inning when a Paul Maholm pitch looked like it struck both Zaun’s hand and the handle of his bat. Zaun complained earlier this season of a knot behind his right shoulder that led to some throwing issues. 
George Kottaras replaced Zaun, leaving only two healthy position players on the Brewers’ bench: infielder Craig Counsell and utility man Joe Inglett. 
The team had already been playing short one position player since last week, when a decision was made to go to a 13-man pitching staff to help the struggling bullpen. But that bullpen was short, too, with closer Trevor Hoffman unavailable while he works out some mechanical issues. 
Help should arrive Friday from center fielder Carlos Gomez, who is on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list. He has not played since May 5 because of an injured left shoulder and would be a welcome right-handed bat on the roster. Macha conceded Thursday that teams have taken advantage lately of the Brewers’ left-handedness off the bench. 
The Brewers also were strongly considering a promotion for left-hander Zach Braddock, who could help against Minnesota’s tough left-handed hitters including former American League MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Braddock, though, is not on the 40-man roster, so a corresponding move would have to be made ahead of Friday’s series opener at Target Field.  
The 22-year-old Braddock has worked 10 scoreless outings for Triple-A Nashville this season plus one poor outing in which he surrendered eight runs in 2/3 of an inning. 
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