Notes: Weeks' wrist gets rest vs. Twins
Gross bats leadoff on Friday; Hall back in cleanup role
MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks' sore right wrist kept him out of the Brewers' leadoff hole again Friday, and the young second baseman could miss a start or two more this weekend.
Weeks had surgery last August to repair a loose tendon in his right wrist, and the scar tissue that developed has been breaking apart since he resumed activity. Weeks was shut down early in Spring Training with soreness, but only this week was his wrist mentioned again by club officials.
Weeks was given the day off Thursday, when the Brewers won the finale of a seven-game road trip. Before Friday's Interleague series opener against the Twins at Miller Park, he was examined by head team physician William Raasch.
"Dr. Raasch recommended he take a day or two off," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It's consistent with what they expected his surgery to be. There are going to be times it gets a little inflamed."
Weeks confirmed that diagnosis.
"They told me that this could last a while," said Weeks, whose surgery was performed by Dr. Don Sheridan in Phoenix. "It was pretty much known that it would flare up now and then, it would get sore, and you just have to deal with it. Every now and then I'll have to take two or three days, but for the most part I'll play over it."
Weeks was barred from batting practice to give the inflammation a chance to subside. Yost said Weeks would be available if needed to pinch-hit, pinch-run or play late-inning defense.
Weeks has not homered since April 25 and went 3-for-17 (.176) on the just-completed trip to New York and Philadelphia. He was hitting .204 (10-for-49) in May but had scored 12 runs, and entered Friday tied for fifth in the National League with 31 runs.
Yost said the wrist is to blame for Weeks' slow start.
"It affects your swing a little bit when it gets sore," Yost said. "It affects your hand strength. There are times when you have to take a step back and let it get strong again."
Gross over Gwynn: For his leadoff man Friday, Yost went with Gabe Gross, who hit a pair of solo home runs in Thursday's win, over Tony Gwynn Jr., who also started and went 1-for-5.
"Gabe's got the ability to take a walk," Yost said. "He sees pitches up there. We don't have a lot of tremendously fast basestealers, so to me it was a toss-up between [Gross] and Tony Gwynn. Gabe got two big homers yesterday, so we went with Gabe."
Gross snapped an 0-for-14 slump with the first of his two homers off Phillies starter Freddy Garcia. Because of his inconsistent playing time -- Friday marked his 11th start -- that slump spanned 19 team games.
"To be honest, coming into Spring Training and looking at all of the outfielders we had, I didn't know what to expect," said Gross, one of six outfielders on the roster. "All I knew was that I was very confident I could get the job done no matter what role they put me in. I still feel that way."
His cell phone lit up after Thursday's big game with messages from well-wishers back home in Alabama and elsewhere.
"That's always nice," Gross said. "I kind of forget sometimes that I have a lot of people back home and other places keeping up with me. It's nice to hear from them, but it also reminds me that they had been looking at a lot of '0-fors' in the box score. It was nice to give them something else."
Hall the way back: Bill Hall was back in the cleanup hole Friday after getting Thursday off. He batted a respectable .273 (6-for-22) on the road trip but had only three RBIs.
Overall, Hall was hitting .268 entering play with five home runs and 17 RBIs. He ranked fourth on the club in RBIs and seventh with a .786 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
Asked again Friday about Hall's tepid start, Yost bristled.
"You look at his numbers, they're not horrible," the skipper said. "I don't know what everybody wants him to be, but they're not horrible.
"He's got the capability of producing clean-up-type numbers. When he gets hot, he will."
"And," Yost added, "we're doing OK with him hitting in the fourth spot."
Hall drove in the Brewers' first run Friday when he beat out a potential double-play grounder.
More drama: According to a report in the Nashville City Paper, former Brewers reliever Jose Capellan will move into the Triple-A Sounds' starting rotation beginning Saturday.
Capellan is 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA and one save in 14 relief appearances this season. He replaces veteran R.A. Dickey in the rotation.
"It will give him a few more innings and open him up," Sounds manager Frank Kremblas told the newspaper. "Anything is an option. When you're not in the Majors, the more things you can do as a pitcher, the better off you're going to be."
Capellan, who made 61 appearances in late relief for the Brewers last season, was furious after being optioned to Nashville at the end of Spring Training. He demanded a trade, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin found no deals to his liking.
On deck: Dave Bush, who took a line drive off his left knee in his last start, declared himself fit to pitch Saturday's game against the Twins, who are expected to go with right-hander Scott Baker.
Players and coaches from both clubs will wear differently-colored caps depicting each of the four branches of the U.S. military, which later will be auctioned for charity. J.J. Hardy chose the U.S. Army cap to honor his brother, Logan, who served in Iraq.
"Some guys had personal preferences because of family reasons," said clubhouse boss Tony Migliaccio. "But for the most part we tried to mix it up."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.