Attanasio: ‘We’re trying to win this year’
Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio is with the team on this West Coast swing, meaning he has witnessed its terrible spate of injuries in person. The Brewers have lost a starting pitcher, a starting first baseman and a starting shortstop, either for the rest of the season or most of it.
Attanasio made clear on Sunday that he’s not giving up on 2012.
“You try not to be down,” Attanasio said. “Everybody has to keep their spirits up because we’re trying to win this year.”
They will have to win without left-hander Chris Narveson, out for the year after shoulder surgery. First baseman Mat Gamel needs surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee, and a teammate indicated Sunday that Gamel’s injury is much more complicated than one torn ligament. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez will undergo an MRI scan on Monday after suffering his own devastating right knee injury on Saturday.
On top of that, outfielder Carlos Gomez was placed on the DL Sunday with a left hamstring strain, and left fielder Ryan Braun is trying to play through a tight right Achilles.
Oh, and the Brewers entered Sunday at 12-15, four games behind first-place St. Louis in the National League Central. They ranked 15th of 16 NL teams in both team batting average and ERA.
“Look, plenty of other teams have injuries, too,” Attanasio said. “Not necessarily season-ending injuries, but we still have an enormously talented team that we all believe is going to start playing better. I’m still at the point where I’m looking at the lineups every day before the game, and I like our lineup better than the other team’s. We got off to a slow start last year, too.”
But last year, the Brewers were getting healthy at this time, with right fielder Corey Hart getting back to form after a rib-cage strain and Zack Greinke returning from a cracked rib. This year is a little different.
Attanasio left open the door to some major midseason acquisitions, going as far as referencing the Brewers’ July 2008 trade for starter CC Sabathia. He pointed to the Cardinals, who won the World Series last year partly on the strength of a bullpen bolstered by a big July trade.
“Everything” is on the table, Attanasio said.
“We’re only  games in,” he said. “It’s going to depend where were at, at that point in time. Look at where we were when we added CC. We were over .500 but we were several games back.”
Complicating things for Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin is the fact that three key pitchers — Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Francisco Rodriguez — are due to reach free agency after the season. The team’s performance over the next month or two will determine whether the Brewers are in position to add talent ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
“There’s a lot of enormously talented guys in here,” Attanasio said, looking around the clubhouse.
The Brewers had an 11:35 a.m. PT team meeting on Sunday to discuss a travel issue. Manager Ron Roenicke planned to say a few words to players about keeping their spirits up.
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