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MLB Team Report - Milwaukee Brewers - INSIDE PITCH
Johnny Hellweg never gave himself a chance.
When Hellweg struggled once again Wednesday in his third start in the major leagues, the Brewers really had no choice but to return him to the minors. The move was made after the 6-foot-9 right-hander allowed four hits, five walks and four runs in only 4 1/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
In three poor and short outings, Hellweg accumulated these nightmarish numbers: 19 hits, 13 walks and 20 runs (13 earned) in 10 2/3 innings, resulting in a 10.97 ERA.
Hellweg was optioned to Class A Wisconsin because Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville will be on their All-Star breaks when his next turn comes up Monday. Whether he goes to Nashville after that or gets another shot with the Brewers remains to be seen.
"We're going to see where our rotation is and really what we feel is best for Johnny and his development," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I think he's getting better. I loved the third inning he pitched (Wednesday, Hellweg's only scoreless frame). The third inning, if he pitches like that, he's going to have a long career in the big leagues. He really pitched. He threw his breaking ball over, he threw changeups, he located his fastball.
"The other innings, he was fighting. He was behind in the count. He was fighting to survive, to make a real good pitch to get out of it. He's got the stuff to do it. I think there's improvement there from the other two starts but still some things he needs to work on. He can do that here, but if we think it's better for him to do it in Triple-A, we'll do that."
It would have been different had Hellweg given himself a chance to succeed by throwing strikes and making the hitters beat him. However, he knew that wasn't the case.
"I'm just trying to stay positive," he said. "I'll try to go down there and get a good feeling back and try to get back up here and help as soon as I can.
"I feel like I have a lot more to show and can contribute up here and help the team. I've been getting behind in the count. That didn't help my cause too much. I wasn't staying within myself; I was trying to do too much.
"There were glimpses of it. It's just going to come with a little more time."
To replace Hellweg on their roster, the Brewers recalled outfielder Caleb Gindl from Nashville. Gindl lined out as a pinch hitter Thursday in Milwaukee's 5-3 loss at Arizona.
MLB Team Report - Milwaukee Brewers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost two
PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5
NEXT: Brewers (Tom Gorzelanny, 1-2, 2.12) at Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin, 10-1, 2.40)
--LF Ryan Braun was placed on the bereavement list Thursday because of a family medical issue. By being placed on the list, Braun must miss at least three games. He would be eligible to return for the final game of the Arizona series on Sunday, the last day before the All-Star break. Braun, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing a month with a thumb injury, has been subject of recent reports that he could be suspended for 100 games, based on the findings of major league baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis of America clinic in South Florida.
--OF Caleb Gindl flied out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning Thursday after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take LF Ryan Braun's roster spot after Braun went on the bereavement list. Gindl, 24, had five hits in 20 at-bats in an earlier stint with the Brewers this season. He was hitting .294 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 76 games at Nashville. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2007.
--RF Norichika Aoki returned to the lineup Thursday night after missing two games with left elbow tightness. He went 2-for-4 in the series opener against the Diamondbacks, raising his average to an even .300.
--RHP Yovani Gallardo still has not lost at Chase Field, but his four-start winning streak there came to an end when he did not get a decision in a 5-3 loss to Arizona on Thursday. Gallardo held a 3-0 lead through four innings before the D-backs tied it with two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, his last inning. "I got into trouble on my own," he said. "I tried to do too much and tried to make the perfect pitch and get out of it, then the next thing you know the ball is up instead of trusting my stuff. Trust what I was doing in the earlier innings." Gallardo was 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA in four starts in Phoenix, 6-0 with a 1.62 ERA in eight career starts against Arizona entering the game.
--LHP Tom Gorzelanny, who will turn 31 on Friday, will made his third start of the season that day after replacing RHP Alfredo Figaro in the rotation when Figaro was placed on the disabled list in late June. Gorzelanny suffered a 2-1 loss to the Mets last Sunday despite giving up no earned runs and striking out eight in six innings. In nine career games (six starts) against Arizona, Gorzelanny is 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA.
--LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Ryan Deeter and SS Steven Halcomb signed minor league contracts with the Brewers on Thursday. Laffey has made five appearances in the majors this season, four with the Mets (two starts) and one with Toronto. He was designated for assignment after his outing for Toronto on April 26, elected free agency and signed with the Dodgers, but he opted out of his deal with Los Angeles when he was not promoted to the majors by a designated time.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "What it really comes down to is they got a big hit and we didn't. We had a couple of chances and we didn't get big hits." -- Manager Ron Roenicke, after the Brewers' 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Thursday.
MLB Team Report - Milwaukee Brewers - ROSTER REPORT
--RF Norichika Aoki (left elbow tightness) did not play July 9-10. He was back in the lineup July 11.
--3B Aramis Ramirez (sprained left knee) went on the 15-day disabled retroactive to July 7. Ramirez injured the knee during spring training and again earlier in the season, missing 23 games, and hasn't been 100 percent since. Manager Ron Roenicke said Ramirez was on board with the move, which minimizes the number of games he would miss thanks to the All-Star break.
--1B Corey Hart (right knee surgery in January 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 9. He now needs surgery on his left knee, and he won't play this season.
--RHP Alfredo Figaro (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 24. He was sent to the training facility in Phoenix to continue his rehab.
--RHP Marco Estrada (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 4. He felt discomfort during a rehab appearance with Class A Wisconsin on June 23, and he went to the spring training facility in Phoenix to continue rehabbing. He will throw a simulated game July 13.
--RHP Mark Rogers (right shoulder instability) went on the 15-day disabled list March 25, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 26.
--INF Taylor Green (labral tear and bone spurs in left hip) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 15. He had season-ending surgery April 23.
--1B Mat Gamel (right knee surgery in March 2013) went on the 60-day disabled list March 20. He is out for the season.
RHP Yovani Gallardo
RHP Wily Peralta
RHP Kyle Lohse
LHP Tom Gorzelanny
RHP Francisco Rodriguez (closer)
RHP John Axford
LHP Michael Gonzalez
RHP Burke Badenhop
RHP Brandon Kintzler
RHP Donavan Hand
RHP Jim Henderson
RHP Tyler Thornburg
1B Yuniesky Betancourt
2B Rickie Weeks
SS Jean Segura
3B Juan Francisco
INF Jeff Bianchi
LF Ryan Braun (bereavement leave)
CF Carlos Gomez
RF Norichika Aoki
OF Logan Schafer
OF Caleb Gindl
OF/INF Sean Halton