Amid trade rumors, Hart wants to stay
Brewers All-Star outfielder keeps focus on the field
MILWAUKEE -- All-Star outfielder Corey Hart says he wants to remain with the Brewers, but understands that the team's poor play this season might prompt a trade."I would be disappointed to be traded away from the Brewers, because this is the only team I know," said Hart, Milwaukee's 11th-round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. "I would like to stick it out here and help to turn things around, but I can't control what happens. "Hopefully, we don't become sellers yet. Obviously, we're not playing good baseball, but we would all like to stay together and try to figure this out." The Brewers entered their Thursday series finale against the Giants on the verge of being swept in four games, and 11 1/2 games behind the National League Central-leading Reds. The Giants have reportedly shown interest in Hart, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has so far been underwhelmed by the offers for Hart and any of his other players who might become available. The Giants appear to be a good match. They need offense and have depth of starting pitching, the area in which the Brewers would most like to improve. Brewers manager Ken Macha has been kept apprised of trade scenarios by Melvin, who dropped by the manager's office on Thursday morning. "From what I understand, there's trade rumors circulating everywhere about a whole bunch of stuff," Macha said. "I don't want [Melvin's] job. He's the caretaker of the organization as far as personnel are concerned. There is a separation, and a great amount of respect that I have for [Melvin's] job." Even if the Giants left Milwaukee on Thursday without him, Hart figures that the trade rumors will persist until the July 31 Trade Deadline. "It's part of the job," Hart said. "Any time you're not living up to expectations as a team, these things are going to come. I can't let it bother me too much. I can't do much about it."
Brewers give slumping Braun a breather
MILWAUKEE -- A day game at Miller Park offered the perfect opportunity for the Brewers to rest slumping All-Star Ryan Braun. Joe Inglett started in left field instead as the Brewers tried to avoid a four-game Giants sweep."I think [Braun] needs a day off," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. Braun was hitless in his last 16 at-bats entering Thursday and has struggled particularly in day games at Miller Park, where the combination of shadows and glare can make for difficult hitting conditions. Through Wednesday, he was batting .145 in home day games with a .194 on-base percentage and a .210 slugging percentage. Braun had a chance to do something positive in the sixth inning Thursday, when he pinch-hit with the bases loaded and the Brewers trailing, 6-3. He grounded out to second base to end the inning. Not all of the Brewers have been affected by the daytime conditions. Rickie Weeks entered Thursday's game with a .438 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage during the day at home. Prince Fielder (.329 OBP, .516 SLG), Casey McGehee (.406 and .448) and Corey Hart (.373 and .566) also thrived during the day.
Crew GM takes pride in homegrown All-Stars
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin noted with pride this week that all three of the Brewers' All-Stars -- outfielders Ryan Braun and Corey Hart and pitcher Yovani Gallardo -- were homegrown players."I'm excited because they're all guys we drafted and developed," Melvin said. Hart was the team's 11th-round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. Gallardo was the Brewers' second-round pick in 2004, and Braun was selected in the first round the following year. Of the 73 players who made the original All-Star rosters or were subsequently named as alternates, 37 were either drafted or originally signed by their current organizations. That includes Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte, who pitched three seasons for the Astros before returning to New York. "You look on the rosters and some of the guys who made it, they weren't homegrown; they weren't developed by their club," Melvin said. "Our player development people developed Yovani with only 400 innings pitched in the Minor Leagues. There's a lot of pitchers who have to stay and pitch a lot more innings. Adam Wainwright [of the Cardinals] was [given] 700 innings in the Minor Leagues. "We take some criticism for not developing and drafting pitchers, but it feels pretty good when a young guy [like Gallardo] makes it." Unfortunately, Gallardo will not be able to pitch in the All-Star Game. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list this week with a rib-cage strain and replaced on the National League roster by the Padres' Heath Bell.
Gerut, Estrada sent home to continue rehab
MILWAUKEE -- In an effort to clear a cluttered training room, the Brewers sent injured outfielder Jody Gerut and pitcher Marco Estrada home to continue their rehabilitation. Gerut, on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left heel, is from Illinois, and Estrada, sidelined by a right shoulder strain, is from California.Gerut, though, plans to be a regular visitor to Miller Park on his own volition. His Oak Park home is within 90 miles or so of the ballpark. "I can't not be with the team," Gerut said. "I have to be here." But he understands what he called the club's "administrative decision" to send him home. "I think they have my best interests in mind," Gerut said. "I think they're going off the fact that what we're doing isn't working. I can't argue with that. We've tried everything. It's throwing spaghetti at the wall. There has been improvement, it fluctuates, and then I'll try to ramp up and do something more substantive, and it flares. "I'm tempted to just say, 'Forget it, I'll play with the pain.' But I have two extra knee surgeries to prove that I'm not one of the guys who can do that. I have to exercise restraint."
Manager Ken Macha said that the Brewers' young catchers share the blame when pitchers get away from the game plan, as left-hander Chris Narveson did on Wednesday night, firing a series of fastballs at the Giants that were hit hard. "Rick [Peterson, Milwaukee's pitching coach] was mentioning to me that if we had a veteran guy back there catching, he would have a little more power in his suggestions," Macha said. "If you're out there pitching and you have Bob Boone catching, you're probably not going to shake him off that often." ... Brewers scouts Joe Mason and Joe Hodges will conduct a free, open tryout camp at 9 a.m. CT on July 22 at Greer Stadium, the historic home of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. Interested individuals must be at least 16 and no older than 23, and should report to the main entrance on the first-base side of Greer Stadium for registration. American Legion players must provide a letter from their coach or post commander granting permission to attend the tryout camp. ... General manager Doug Melvin and his wife, Ellen, are once again committing to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Milwaukee, an organization that raises awareness of breast cancer. Last year, through jersey raffles and other special events, the Melvin family raised more than $65,000, and for information on their efforts in 2010, see the team's official news release.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.