MILWAUKEE -- Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado is eager to return to active duty on Monday in St. Louis, his five-game suspension behind him.
Speaking for the first time about the discipline levied for his role in an on-field fracas with the Pirates on April 20, Maldonado said he wanted to appeal, but chose not to because his suspension fit conveniently into the Brewers' schedule. Maldonado was able to catch Monday, giving starter Jonathan Lucroy a day off, and an off-day built into the schedule on Thursday provided another break.
"That's why I didn't appeal," Maldonado said. "The next off-day was going to take a while. But I wanted to appeal it."
Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez did appeal his own three-game suspension, as did Pirates outfielder Travis Snider (two games) and catcher Russell Martin (one game). Maldonado's ban was longer than the rest because he landed a punch against Snider amid the scuffle.
Asked whether the distribution of penalties was unfair, Maldonado said, "They made the decision, and I don't even worry about it. Even if you appeal, you get it knocked down, what, one game? That was going to take too long to play out, and we play St. Louis and Cincinnati [this week], and those are important games. I'm looking forward to them."
Maldonado suggested there was more to the story than has been told, hinting about words exchanged before an early game in the series between Snider and Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez.
"Something happened the first day we were there," Maldonado said, without elaborating. "I was more upset about that. If they go one-on-one with Gomez, fine. But I saw Martin go after Gomez, too, and then I saw [Gomez] fall to the ground with Snider on top of him. I can't let him do that.
"But more to the point, next time I have to be smarter, because I'm one of only two catchers on the team. I'm looking forward to being back in these games."
The Brewers and Pirates play six more games against each other before the All-Star break -- from May 13-15 in Milwaukee and June 6-8 in Pittsburgh.
Does Maldonado expect trouble?
"I don't know if they want to retaliate, but I'm done with it," Maldonado said. "I served my suspension. I paid my fine already, too. If [the Pirates] hit me, I just go to first base, as long as they keep it away from my head. I don't want to make a big deal about it."
Word is that other teammates, including Gomez, chipped in to help cover the $2,500.
Braun, Segura injuries leave Brewers shorthanded
MILWAUKEE -- Ron Roenicke managed the most shorthanded game of his career Sunday, with right fielder Ryan Braun and shortstop Jean Segura sidelined by injuries and backup catcher Martin Maldonado serving the final game of a suspension.
A team doctor spent Sunday morning examining Braun, who exited Saturday's win over the Cubs with a right rib-cage strain, and Segura, who was struck in the face by Braun's bat earlier in the game as Braun got loose on the top step of the dugout. Following Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Cubs, Roenicke reiterated that there were no immediate plans to place either player on the disabled list.
Segura vowed to play during the Brewers' road trip to St. Louis and Cincinnati, but Roenicke said Braun will miss at least another 3-5 days. Elian Herrera will play right field in Braun's absence, while club officials mull whether to make a roster move.
"I've dealt with it before, and it's uncomfortable," said Braun, who has been dealing with a strained intercostal muscle for several days. "Sleeping's not very good. I'll get treatment twice today and probably get treatment twice every day, and see what happens. Hope it gets better."
Asked whether he worried he might end up on the DL, Braun said, "You know I don't speculate on that. It's day to day. I remain optimistic. I'll get my treatment."
Segura has a swollen right eye and a nasty cut, which was stitched up by a plastic surgeon. Braun has long warmed up by swinging his bat on the top dugout step when he is in the hole, especially of late, because he has stopped taking pregame swings in the batting cage to protect his troublesome right thumb. Teammates and coaches are aware of the practice and usually stay away.
"When it happened, I thought it was something bad," Segura said. "Today, I feel much better and thank God nothing was worse. ... It was a scary moment for me. I thought it was something worse, I thought it was a fracture or broken something. A concussion, because when it happened I just couldn't feel anything. That [feeling] in my head, it was a scary moment for me."
Braun still felt terrible about the accident on Sunday morning.
"Whenever you hurt one of your friends, no matter how it happened, it's always kind of disturbing," he said.
Roenicke, meanwhile, was tasked with managing a game with only two position players available on the bench: Mark Reynolds, who could play anywhere but catcher, and Rickie Weeks, who is considered by the club a second baseman, period. Pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse were at the ready Sunday just in case, Gallardo probably to pinch-hit and Lohse to play a corner outfield spot in an emergency.
"They're two big components," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of the Brewers' latest personnel losses. "Segura is an exciting young player and shortstop. I'm not sure exactly what happened [in the dugout]. Ryan Braun, obviously, is an All-Star. The reality is on any given day, a Major League team can win a ballgame. You can't take anything for granted."
Segura joins list of bizarre Brewers injuries
MILWAUKEE -- There have been incidents with salad tongs, scorpions and cacti. And another with a thick phone book during a motivational session.
While Jean Segura's injury from Ryan Braun's bat in the dugout Saturday night was scary, it was another in a long line of odd mishaps suffered by members of the Brewers' organization over the past couple of decades.
Here is a look at some of them:
Segura's injury was the second bit of misfortune for the team in this young season. Francisco Rodriguez stepped on a cactus with his bare foot while in Arizona for Spring Training this year, hampering his conditioning before the start of this season. He still was picking spines out of his foot last week, but entered Sunday 11-for-11 in save chances this year.
Arizona is a popular place for the Brewers to suffer unusual injuries. General manager Doug Melvin ended up in a hospital emergency room in 2013 after picking up what he thought was a harmless bug on his hotel room floor during Spring Training. It turned out to be an Arizona Bark Scorpion, which is highly venomous, and it stung him on the middle finger of his left hand.
Jonathan Lucroy missed two months with a broken hand in 2012. Lucroy said it occurred when a suitcase shifted in his hotel room and fell on his hand.
Chris Narveson missed a start during the pennant race in 2011 after slicing his right thumb with a scissors while trying to fix laces on his glove. He needed eight stitches and went 16 days between starts.
Salad wasn't a healthy choice for Matt Wise in 2006. The Brewers reliever missed a few days after cutting his hand on salad tongs while eating in the clubhouse in Kansas City.
Third baseman Wes Helms injured his right knee while slipping on a wet rubber mat in a tunnel between the dugout and clubhouse when the team was in Puerto Rico to play the Expos in May 2004. He missed 35 games. He compared it to walking on black ice in the balmy tropical climate.
Likely the most infamous of quirky Brewers injuries involved Steve Sparks in 1994. The knuckleballer dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder during Spring Training in Chandler, Ariz., while attempting to rip apart a phone book. The Brewers had motivational speakers talk to the players and two of the presenters ripped apart thick phone books to show what could be done with inspiration. When Sparks attempted it, he dislocated the shoulder, an injury that prevented him from making the team out of Spring Training.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Joe DiGiovanni is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.