Brewers stand pat at nonwaiver Deadline

The 3 p.m. nonwaiver Trade Deadline came and went Wednesday no more moves by the Brewers, who did trade reliever Francisco Rodriguez to the Orioles last week.

The inactivity did not bother general manager Doug Melvin, even as his team sits in last place in the National League Central with the league’s second-highest total of losses. He said the Brewers’ recent pitching surge had reinforced his belief that a sell-off was not necessary, especially considering the Brewers’ two most valuable trade chips — right-handers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse — were controllable for the next two seasons.

“I’m OK,” Melvin said. “After you look at proposals we made and things like that, I’m OK. The one thing on our club that has improved over the second half of the year has been our pitching. Do you agree that St. Louis and Washington have pretty good pitching staffs? In the month of June, we were better than the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals. In the month of July, we were better than the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

“So with the younger guys that we have [alongside] Gallardo and Lohse, I’m encouraged by our pitching and how it’s improved. I can’t defend April and May, but I’m seeing some improvement.”

At the same time, Melvin sees right-hander Johnny Hellweg, acquired from the Angels last July with shortstop Jean Segura and another pitching prospect for Zack Greinke, dominating the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Hellweg struggled badly in a brief stint with Milwaukee but will be back later this season, Melvin said. The Brewers also expect to take a look at top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson before the season is out.

With that depth, Melvin was content to stand pat Wednesday when he was not wowed by any offers.

“Does that mean we won’t look at it again in the offseason? Well, no. We’ll look at it in the offseason again,” Melvin said.

Teams can still make trades in August if the players involved clear waivers first. Left-hander Michael Gonzalez could still be dealt, and third baseman Aramis Ramirez could be an intriguing trade piece if he can get his sprained left knee healthy. Gonzalez is a free agent after the season and Ramirez is signed through the end of 2014.

Melvin said Yovani Gallardo’s hamstring injury had no impact on Wednesday’s lack of action. Melvin had previously made clear he was not motivated to move Gallardo.

Much more to come in the Brewers.com notebook.

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