Brewers Tuesday: Estrada ailing
JUN 04, 2013 6:31p ET
Estrada was moving better Tuesday afternoon, but he's not very confident he'll be able to take the ball Saturday against Philadelphia.
"I don't know if this start's going to happen or not," Estrada said. "It doesn't look very good right now. We'll see what happens. I'm not too happy."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said the club has decided what it will do Saturday, and it sounded like Estrada missing a start is inevitable. Roenicke said he will wait to make Saturday's starter official until later Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The Brewers could recall right-hander Johnny Hellweg from Triple-A Nashville or even dip into Double-A and bring up Jimmy Nelson or Ariel Pena.
Tyler Thornburg came up from Double-A last season to fill-in for one start, and Roenicke said he'd be willing to do it again.
"I know it didn't work out that well for (Thornburg), but in most cases, in most organizations, that's what you do," Roenicke said. "You need a spot start from somebody, you go grab somebody who's pitching well in Double-A, Triple-A and bring them up.
"I think it is a great opportunity for a young guy to get that shot and show what he can do, and sometimes you get lucky and that guy goes off and all of a sudden you have a great major-league pitcher."
If the Brewers choose to bring Mike Fiers back up from Triple-A to start Saturday, Estrada must go on the disabled list because Fiers hasn't been in the minor leagues for 10 days. Right-hander Alfredo Figaro is starting Friday in the spot vacated by Fiers.
"It's just not a good time right now," Estrada said. "We're hurting with innings by our starters and we're overusing our bullpen, so this obviously doesn't help. I'm not sure what they are going to do."
Francisco jumps right in: Newly acquired infielder Juan Francisco is in the lineup on his first day with the Brewers at a position he's never played before in the big leagues.
Acquired from Atlanta on Monday for minor-league left-hander Thomas Keeling, Francisco is starting at first base for the first time in his career.
"We'll see how he looks," Roenicke said. "We saw him at third base and I know he's a good defender there, so hopefully first base is easy for him.
"We'll see how it goes. He also said in Triple-A he was out in left field, so that was nice to know."
Francisco admitted he was a bit nervous to play somewhere he's never played before at this level.
"Of course I'm a little nervous having never played it, but I'm hoping I can get the nerves out and calm down," Francisco said.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin called Francisco after the trade to inform the 25-year-old the Brewers were hoping he could play first base for them.
"I didn't care," Francisco said. "I said 'I'll play whatever position you need me at.' I'm good to go wherever. I've just always been prepared to play either way."
Francisco was hitting .241 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 35 games before being designated for assignment last week. Once thought of as Chipper Jones' replacement at third base in Atlanta, Francisco is excited about getting another chance with Milwaukee.
He's friends with Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and has played with Jean Segura, Wily Peralta and Figaro on winter ball teams in the Dominican Republic.
"This is just a much better opportunity just because there are more chances to play here, first or third," Francisco said. "In Atlanta, I was only playing third, so it was very limited there. Obviously, there's more opportunities here."
Hart still needs time: Milwaukee's starting first baseman took another step toward returning Monday, but Corey Hart still is not close to returning to Milwaukee's lineup.
Hart ran the bases for the first time Monday, but was a little tentative, according to Roenicke. There's still no timetable for when Hart will begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
"It's hard to say," Roenicke said. "I don't know if we're a week away. It just depends on how fast it comes along. Sometimes the new things he does, they feel awkward and it takes him awhile. Sometimes he feels great. So we'll see how quickly he gets comfortable with running the bases and whether he can go out in a week or not."
Whenever Hart is ready to go on a rehab assignment, he is going to need close to the 20 allotted days to get ready. Roenicke hopes Hart will be able to play all nine innings and multiple days in a row when he returns to the Brewers.
"It's going to be longer, certainly, this year than it was in the past because of the injury and being out that long," Roenicke said. "I think in the past, we'd go a week with him and have him back - I don't think it'll be a week. It can't be right away because he can't play every day. It may be two weeks. But it's going to be a bit."
Fiers heads home: In a kind gesture, the Brewers allowed Fiers to return home to his ill mother in Florida for a few days before heading to Triple-A Nashville to make his next start.
Suffering from lupus, Fiers' mother is doing better, according to Roenicke.
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