Manager Ken Macha made no major changes to the Brewers lineup Thursday, but two veterans are back in the starting lineup in favor of a pair of youngsters.
Three additional draft selections, including second-round pick Jimmy Nelson, have been signed this week by the Brewers, the club announced Wednesday.
With lefty Francisco Liriano on the mound tonight for the Twins, former Minnesota outfielder Carlos Gomez was back in the starting lineup Wednesday for the Brewers.
ILWAUKEE — With his team off until Friday, first baseman Hunter Morris, the Brewers’ fourth-round draft pick, joined the club on Tuesday at Miller Park.
Morris, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound first baseman from Auburn, has been busy since leaving home for Wisconsin early last week.
“I left my house on Sunday afternoon of last week and drove almost all the way to Milwaukee,” Morris said. “I got my physical Monday morning, got up to Appleton Monday night, and then 7:30 the next morning I’m on a four-hour bus ride to Clinton, Iowa.”
Morris has not spent much time in Appleton yet, but he said that “it’s a nice place.” He added that he was excited to be there, but “more excited about the opportunity to play baseball.”
For Morris, who had been to Miller Park previously for a pre-draft workout as a high school senior, the week has been filled with many unfamiliar places as well.
“That was the first time I’ve ever been to Clinton, Iowa,” Morris said. “And I know for a fact it won’t be the last. I’ve been all across the country, but never to Clinton, Iowa.”
Morris, selected 129th overall by the Brewers earlier this month, was among the first draft picks to sign with the club.
According to Morris, he had no interest in prolonging the signing process.
“I was ready to start playing,” Morris said. “I didn’t have any interest in missing the whole summer negotiating and all that stuff. So, I’m excited about getting out there and playing.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
MILWAUKEE — With the way Trevor Hoffman has been pitching lately, the possibility of the all-time saves leader closing for the Brewers again is still there, manager Ken Macha said Tuesday.
Hoffman’s last outing, a scoreless eighth inning in a 1-1 ballgame Sunday in Colorado that earned him the win in the Brewers’ eventual 6-1 victory, was the fifth in a row for Hoffman in which he has not allowed a run.
Since giving up three runs and taking the loss on June 1 in Florida, Hoffman has tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits.
“After that outing, I’d feel pretty good about him coming in now,” Macha said. “I thought the other day was his best outing. … He certainly threw the ball well enough to close the game.”
Macha was quick to point out the decision was not an easy one to make, especially considering the criticism that would come along with replacing current closer John Axford, who has not yet blown a save.
“It puts you out on the plank,” Macha said. “But I think he’s done real well, so let’s just see. I’ve got that amongst the other pressures that are placed on me when I come to the ballpark every day.”
As for if or when he would remove Axford from the role, Macha said it would “work itself out.”
At the same time, however, Macha recognizes what it would mean for Hoffman to get the four saves he needs to reach the 600-save mark.
“I certainly would like Trevor to reach his goal,” Macha said. “If that’s getting 600, I’d like to get that done for him. Or 610 or whatever he wants.
“He hasn’t given up an earned run since June 1. The game was on the line the other day, we had a tie game with the heart of their order coming up. It’s a good inning for him.”
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
Wisconsin outfielder Khris Davis won Monday’s Midwest League home run derby as part of the All-Star festivities at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who was unavailable to play over the weekend due to a shoulder injury, is in the starting lineup Tuesday for the Brewers.
MILWAUKEE — Second baseman Brett Lawrie, the Brewers’ first-round draft pick in 2008, will represent the club at the 12th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
“It’s an incredible honor for him to receive,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “He’s very well-deserving of the honor. He’s worked hard and he’s made some necessary adjustments that have allowed him to become more consistent on offense and defense.”
A British Columbia native, Lawrie was listed as a member of the World Team and is the Brewers’ lone representative in the game.
The XM All-Star Futures Game, which features many of the top Minor League prospects in the league, will begin at 5:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 11. The game will air live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and MLB.TV. Additionally, XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage on XM 175.
Each Major League organization is represented in the game, and the World Team features players from 10 different countries and territories.
The selection is Lawrie’s second straight for the Futures Game, as he joins just 58 players to have played in the game at least twice.
Lawrie joins current Brewers shortstop Alcides Escobar as the only current player on the club to make two Futures Game appearances.
Through 69 games this season, Lawrie has batted .297 with six home runs and 40 RBIs for Double-A Huntsville.
Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid, who was with the organization in 2008 as the club’s west coast crosschecker, has not seen Lawrie play in nearly a year, but remains impressed with the young second baseman.
“We feel he has the potential to be an everyday Major League player for us,” Seid said. “He’s had a really good year. Being named to the Futures Game means being recognized as someone who has the potential to play at the next level, and we certainly see that in Brett.”
Current Brewers who played in the All-Star Futures Game include Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Chris Narveson, Rickie Weeks, Alcides Escobar, Yovani Gallardo and George Kottaras.
Braun, Fielder and Hart are among a list of 62 players to have played in both the Futures Game and the All-Star Game.
At just 20 years old, Lawrie is one of the Brewers most highly regarded prospects. Ash said he was impressed with the way Lawrie has “excelled with the challenge” of playing for the club’s Double-A affiliate at his age.
“He’s got unlimited potential,” Ash said. “He’s a great athlete and he could play anywhere on the field for us.”
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Third baseman Casey McGehee is getting a day off Sunday and center fielder Jim Edmonds is apparently unable to play, so veteran infielder Craig Counsell is making his first career start in the five-hole. Manager Ken Macha said last night he was hoping to start Edmonds this afternoon. I’ll update Edmonds physical status after speaking to Macha this morning.
Corey Hart RF