SAN FRANCISCO -- There was a point during Spring Training that the Brewers pondered carrying three left-handed relievers on the roster. That seems like a long time ago.Zach Braddock, Manny Parra and Mitch Stetter have all endured serious setbacks this season and in-season acquisition Daniel Ray Herrera was downright ineffective, leaving the Brewers with an entirely right-handed bullpen for the foreseeable future. "Coming in, we thought we were covered with left-handers," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We didn't think that was an issue." Suddenly, it is. The latest setback is to Stetter, who is "still having issues" with a left hip injury, Roenicke said. Stetter left a rehabilitation assignment at Nashville to visit with head team physician William Raasch in Milwaukee. He may need surgery to repair a labrum issue in his hip. He's not the only one having trouble. Braddock, who spent time on the disabled list earlier this season for a sleep disorder, was demoted from the Major Leagues last week and is currently on the inactive list at Triple-A Nashville. Club officials now say they cannot discuss the nature of his troubles because of confidentiality concerns. Parra remains on the DL with a strained ligament and flexor tendon in his left elbow and probably will not pitch this season. He briefly visited teammates earlier this week in Arizona. If Stetter undergoes surgery, the most likely member of that trio to make it back is Braddock, the talented but troubled 23-year-old. "I don't know all that's going on, but I'm still expecting him to be back," Roenicke said. Several reports have linked the Brewers to left-handers on the trade market, but Roenicke is used to going without. While serving as bench coach with the Angels in 2005, Roenicke went all the way to the American League Championship Series with an entirely right-handed bullpen in the postseason. "If we had a lefty who was lights-out against left-handed [batters], then absolutely I want that lefty," Roenicke said. "But they're not that easy to find."
Gomez, Kintzler to undergo surgery
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez will undergo surgery Monday to straighten and stabilize his fractured left collarbone, but club officials expect him back on the field before the end of the season.Surgery was chosen after Gomez was examined by the team's head physician, William Raasch. He determined that bone was sufficiently broken to require a metal plate or rod to aid the healing process. "It's hard to say a time because when they go in there they don't know exactly what they're going to do," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He definitely should be back at some point." Gomez was hurt making a sensational diving catch in Wednesday's win at Arizona. He traveled back to Milwaukee in great pain on Thursday, accompanied by Brewers Latin liaison Rolando Valles. Roenicke also said right-hander Brandon Kintzler would have a screw surgically inserted Tuesday to repair a stress fracture in his right forearm. Kintzler's return this season is not completely ruled out, but he faces longer odds than Gomez because it takes more time for a pitcher to build up to game readiness. Kintzler made the Brewers' Opening Day roster, but appeared in only nine games before he was shut down with what was initially diagnosed as triceps tendinitis. A subsequent bone scan revealed the fracture.
Ryan Braun said he was "fine" Friday and that his absence from the starting lineup was part of the plan to move past a lingering left leg injury. Braun had played every inning of the team's previous two games before sitting against Matt Cain and the Giants. Braun is 6-for-15 in his career against Cain, but considering the Brewers' late-night arrival from Phoenix, head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger advised that a day off was in order. Roenicke is pondering whether to convince first baseman Prince Fielder to take a break on Sunday, when the Brewers face left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Fielder entered Friday with one hit -- an infield single -- in his last 20 at-bats, and sitting Sunday would give him a two-day break. The team is off Monday. Here's a positive note about the Brewers' resident lightning rod: From June 20 through Thursday, Yuniesky Betancourt owned the third-best batting average (.315) among National League shortstops. Only Florida's Hanley Ramirez (.347) and Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins (.327) had a better marks over that month-plus span.