NEW YORK -- The Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays last month hoping he'd revert to the player who batted .320 for Milwaukee in the second half of 2009. That would have made him a solid fill-in for injured second baseman Rickie Weeks, sidelined by a left ankle injury.Instead, Lopez entered Saturday's game at Citi Field with a .186 Brewers batting average and a spot on the bench, despite good success (6-for-14) against Mets starter Chris Capuano. Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Josh Wilson have been starting at second base over Lopez, partly because they provide plus defense. Wilson got the nod on Saturday for his first career at-bats against Capuano. "It's not like [Lopez] is in the doghouse -- it's just production," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I was hoping that he would go off. Now, I'm trying to find somebody else who will get hot." He did not. "I was hoping when he came over, that basically, he was going to do offensively what he did [two] years ago," Roenicke said. "That's why I played him so many games in a row, because I wanted to see if he was going to swing it again. And he didn't. I don't want to say he won't get another opportunity, but that's really what we had him there to do." Lopez could be in danger of losing his spot. The Brewers will have to make a roster move on Monday, when left-hander Chris Narveson is expected to return from the disabled list to pitch in a doubleheader against the Pirates. If the Brewers opt to keep an extra pitcher, then a position player would have to be sent out.
Narveson passes test, likely for Monday
NEW YORK -- Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson passed a big test in the Citi Field bullpen on Saturday afternoon, putting himself in a good position to rejoin the starting rotation for one of Monday's doubleheader games in Pittsburgh.Narveson is on the 15-day disabled list and has already missed two starts with a deep cut on his left thumb, suffered on Aug. 12 while he was using a scissors to fix his baseball glove. Narveson had been throwing with a bandage over the wound until Saturday, when he threw his full assortment of pitches with only some medical glue covering the cut. "It was nice to be able to take the bandage off and not have anything holding you back," Narveson said. "I didn't really think about it today in the bullpen, which is nice. You could just kind of throw your pitches." Said manager Ron Roenicke: "It's not 100 percent, but he looked really good. Right now, we're leaning [toward starting Narveson against the Pirates]." As of Saturday afternoon, the Brewers still faced some decisions ahead of Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader, which will start at 4 p.m. CT at PNC Park. Zack Greinke is likely to start the second game, and the team must decide which pitcher to send to the mound first. Greinke has told Brewers coaches he's OK starting either game, but the decision impacts whether the team summons a backup from Triple-A Nashville, either to replace a position player at the start of the doubleheader or to be at the ready in case a roster move is necessary between games. Roenicke said that right-hander Wily Peralta, Milwaukee's top prospect in MLB.com's latest rankings, was not being considered for that potential callup and that the pitcher officials have in mind is not currently on the 40-man roster. Roenicke could not name him, but it's almost certainly another Triple-A right-hander, Michael Fiers. Brewers officials have been debating the roster implications of their pending moves. They will have to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Narveson to return from the DL, and, if they make a callup, the Brewers would have to clear an additional 25-man spot, plus a spot on the full 40-man roster. The team's greatest depth is on the infield, where Felipe Lopez has fallen to the bottom of the depth chart. "I couldn't believe there are that many decisions on this one [day]," Roenicke said.
Brewers haven't lost faith in prospect Arnett
NEW YORK -- Brewers officials say they have not given up on Minor League right-hander Eric Arnett, a former first-round Draft pick who continues to struggle as a pro.In his second start back at Class A Wisconsin on Friday, Arnett allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings of an 8-2 loss at Peoria. In parts of three seasons since the Brewers plucked Arnett from Indiana University in the first round of the 2009 Draft, he is 7-17 with a 5.91 ERA. He has a 1.55 WHIP in nearly 200 professional innings. "We still have hope for Eric," Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said last week. "You have to remember that Eric was a late bloomer at Indiana. It took him until his third year to kind of put it together. I think Eric got into our organization, and, as we've talked about many times before, he put a lot of pressure on himself. He got off to a slow start, and it kind of tailspinned for him. "Eric, he's made strides this year. He's found a little bit of his velocity back. He's gotten bigger, he's gotten stronger, his breaking pitch has gotten more firm. "We look at Eric as a young guy still," Seid said. "We look at him as a guy that has a chance to, maybe a couple of years down the road, really find his top-end ceiling. He's made some strides, he's gained some confidence and we still feel that Eric can be of some value to the Brewers down the road."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was still a little miffed at the Mets on Saturday for the way they handled Friday's long rain delay. They waited to delay the game until minutes before the scheduled game time, after both starting pitchers had warmed up, for which umpiring crew chief Ed Rapuano apologized to Roenicke, even though home teams control decisions on delays before the first pitch.Shaun Marcum's velocity was down when the game finally began, but he went on to pitch seven strong innings in a 6-1 win. "The first inning or two, I was a little concerned," Roenicke said. "He just looked stiff. Then I watched him and thought, 'Wow, he got into a really nice rhythm.' ... He got past it, but he wasn't happy."