Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was “impressive” in a weeklong stint with the Brewers, manager Ken Macha said. That didn’t stop the team from shipping him back to the Minor Leagues.
Cain, 24, was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday to clear a spot for right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo’s return from the disabled list. Cain went 3-for-5 in his brief Major League debut, and was robbed of extra bases in his first big league at-bat by Braves left fielder Matt Diaz.
In sending out Cain, the Brewers opted to keep its other speedy center fielder, Carlos Gomez, who entered Thursday with a .292 on-base percentage. Gomez and Cain both have Minor League options remaining.
“[Cain] was impressive,” Macha said. “Very impressive. But this is a guy who has  at-bats in Triple-A. He needs to go play. That’s not eliminating that he may be back up here in a month or two weeks or something like that. He certainly has the tools to play center field and steal bases and swing the bat, but he missed a lot of last year with injuries, too. …
“The honest answer is this: Lorenzo Cain missed a lot of the year last year, has  at-bats in Triple-A. He hasn’t even proven himself in Triple-A yet. To expose him to Major League pitching every day at this particular point in his career would probably do a disservice to him and our organization.”
Cain missed most of last season with a knee injury and began 2010 at Double-A Huntsville. Following a promotion to Nashville, he went 14-for-41 (.341) in 10 games with four stolen bases.