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Brewers notes: Ryan Braun, Jean Segura avoid DL stints

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Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
April 28, 2014

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday morning that no plans were in the works to place either Ryan Braun or Jean Segura on the disabled list, though it was not known how long either will be out of action.

Segura was inadvertently struck on the right side of his face by a bat being swung by Braun before the bottom of the first inning Saturday night against Chicago at Miller Park. Braun was following his routine of loosening up for an at-bat by swinging a bat over his head while standing near the top step of the dugout, and when he swung the bat behind him, it struck Segura, who was getting ready to come out of the dugout.

A plastic surgeon stitched up a significant laceration under Segura’s eye but there were no fractures or signs of a concussion. He did, however, have swelling.

Braun later left that game with a right intercostal strain and was listed as day to day. Roenicke said the area near Braun’s right ribs had been bothering him and he tweaked it when making a throw from deep right field in the eighth inning on a single by Chicago’s Mike Olt.

After Sunday’s loss, Roenicke said the expectation was that Braun would miss three to five days. Segura remains day to day but probably will need another couple of days before he can play.

“It was pretty bad, but it could have been worse,” said Segura, who narrowly escaped eye damage. “I don’t know how long it will be. When it happened, I thought it was something really bad. Thank God it was nothing worse.

“I stepped up the stairs and saw that bat right in my face. I got hit and laid down on the ground. It was a scary moment for me. When it happened, I didn’t feel anything at first. Nobody wants to hit a teammate like that. (Braun) was good to me. It depends when the swelling goes down. I hope I can play this week.”

With Braun and Segura unavailable, and backup catcher Martin Maldonado finishing his five-game suspension for punching Pittsburgh’s Travis Snider during a brawl last Sunday, Roenicke had only two healthy players on his bench—second baseman Rickie Weeks and first baseman/third baseman Mark Reynolds.

In essence, Reynolds was the backup at every position other than catcher. That duty would have gone to Elian Herrera, who started in right field in place of Braun. Roenicke said he would have various pitchers ready for other duty, including pinch-hitting.

Heavy workload

Roenicke is somewhat concerned about the number of appearances his relievers have turned in during the first month of the season. His relievers have been used 71 times, but the total number of relief innings (72 1/3) isn’t particularly high.

“We’re high on appearances,” Roenicke said. “We’re not overly high but we’re high. The pitches, when you break them down by individuals, they’re way down. That means they are very efficient with what they’re doing.

“But, even if you come in a game for three pitches, you’ve heated it up pretty good in the bullpen. So it’s still hard on a player then when you consider innings and pitching.

“When you look at a season, the leaders are usually in the high 70s in appearances. If you’re looking at half the season, you’re at 81. We’re on a pace for more than 81; all those guys are.”

Closer Francisco Rodriguez is on pace for 94 appearances, with Will Smith headed for 88, Tyler Thornburg and Zach Duke 81, and Jim Henderson 74. Because Rule 5 draft pick Wei-Chung Wang pitched for only the third time Sunday, it has increased the workload of others.

“We’re doing this a lot because we’re in or winning every game,” Roenicke said. “As much as I’d like this (pace) to last the whole season, I don’t think it’s going to last the whole season, to play this kind of baseball all year. So somewhere down there they’re going to get some kind of breather.

“Hopefully, our offense takes off and we start winning games by six or eight runs. If it does, hopefully we’ll be able to get Wang in there to pick up some of these innings.”

Exceeding expectations

Roenicke isn’t about to tell people he expected the Brewers to get off to this kind of start, particularly considering the difficulty of the team’s April schedule.

“I’m enjoying watching us play this way, with all things working well,” he said. “We still have all kinds of goofy stuff going on, like yesterday’s game. It was hard to enjoy yesterday’s game.

“But the start that we were hoping we would have, did I expect it against the teams we were playing? No, I was hoping we’d hang in there. That’s what I was hoping. I was hoping we’d be at .500 ball after this first month. Then I thought we’d be pretty good. So I’m thrilled with what’s going on.”

 



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